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Full text of "A few more words in support of no. 90 of the Tracts for the times"

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On most theological subjects, such as those which 
the "Tracts for the Times" have treated, direct 
controversy with opponents seems especially unde- 
sirable. All religious truths are addressed to the 
conscience rather than the reason ; and the points at 
issue, to speak generally, are much rather those opi- 
nions which the consciences of persons on either side 
propound to them as principles to start from, than 
the results which by reasoning are derived from 
those principles. The object of their advocates is 
to state them in such a manner, as that they may 
best commend themselves to those who by a strict 
life and the diligent following after whatever light 
may seem to them to be from Heaven, are proceed- 
ing along the path which in God's ordinary dealings 
is the one appointed access to religious truth. To 
draw out this principle, and guard against miscon- 
ceptions, which on either side have clouded or per- 
verted it, isfar from my present purpose ; that purpose 
being rather to contrast with such subjects the espe- 
cial subject which forms the matter of Tract 90. 



Here, as in our controversy with Roman Ca- 
tholics, the question is not one of principle 
but of detail ; it is not what doctrines are from 
God, but what are ruled by a certain document. 
Direct and explicit reasoning then has a far more 
natural place, and may be admitted with far less 
suspicion, than on most religious controversies: and 
this may perhaps be received as an excuse in behalf 
of one who, having already written on this particular 
controversy, is now about to return to it with the 
hope of making some points more clear than he was 
able to do in his former publication. 

An article in the Edinburgh Review for April, 
and a pamphlet called " the Articles construed by 
themselves," will afford what may be called the 
text for the following remarks; which will however 
extend to some points beyond the range of either 
of those writings. Indeed, when both parties are 
really in earnest, and anxious for the truth, and 
when the subject is one on which, as has been said, 
more than on most others, direct argument will 
lead to that truth, it is to be expected that every 
week will throw light upon the real points at issue ; 
remarks thrown out in conversation, or in private 
letters, as well as in print, will be continually tend- 
ing to make more obvious to the mind the real 
difficulties which oppose the reception of what 
we fully believe to be true, and so will not un- 
naturally augment our hope of being able to 
remove them. New difficulties too will be brought 

forward : the range of subjects embraced in the 
Tract is very extensive ; some are painfully struck 
with one part, some with another ; and it is only 
very gradually that these different impressions tind 
their way to the knowledge of those who support it. 
Another reason which may at least be my excuse, 
if, from over-anxiety, I am mistaken as to the 
desirableness of coming forward again, is the deep 
grief which all must feel who reverence the Oxford 
writers, at the impression apparently produced on 
some very religious minds by their last movement. 
It is a most bitter thought, that the principal advo- 
cates of what we are well convinced is God's holy 
truth, should be really imagined by serious men 
to advocate a Jesuitical (in the popular sense of 
that word) and disingenuous principle, by which 
any thing may mean any thing, and forms may 
be subscribed at the most solemn period of our life, 
only to be dishonestly explained away. And it is 
still more miserable, that men of low worldly habits, 
on whom it is most important to inflict examples 
of a course of life steadily pursued on religious 
motives, should be even confirmed in their un- 
principled disbelief of real consistent holiness, by 
fancying themselves to see in men of high preten- 
sions to sanctity, marks of the same worldly and 
low spirit, though in a different form, which they 
indeed own in their own case, but which they 
know to be condemned by the parties in question 
as inconsistent, when indulged, with final accept- 

ance. To this may be added, what has been said 
on a former occasion, the novelty to so many 
individuals of these interpretations ; and the con- 
sequent certainty that, till full explanation has been 
given, what is new will seem disingenuous. It 
does appear, then, that full and free discussion on 
this particular subject is called for, and if conducted 
on both sides in a right spirit, must tend eventually 
to elicit the truth. 


First, then, let us consider what is the point 
now at issue. The pamphlet I have alluded to 
speaks of Mr. Newman's ' alternate rejection and 
adoption of the opinions of the framers of the 
Articles.' I cannot see such inconsistency. The 
Tract says, p. 82. ' The interpretation they (Anglo- 
Catholics) take was intended to be admissible^ 
though not that which the authors took them- 
selves,' and from first to last consistently advocates 
that position. And I apprehend that to be the 
point now at issue. Was it intended by the very 
compilers of the Articles not to rule any thing contra- 
dictory to the views of " Anglo-Catholics V" and few, 
I apprehend, will doubt that, if this be acknowledged 
true, the controversy is at an end. If it was not 
intended by those who framed the Articles that 
certain opinions should be excluded, and if, as all 
allow, no subsequent changes have been made in the 
Articles, there is no prima facie case to force us on 

the consideration of difficult and doubtful questions ; 
what the Articles were not meant to exclude they 
do not exclude. But, for the sake of those who 
may not go with him to this extent, Mr. Newman 
has certainly in the Tract mentioned other con- 
siderations which may yet lead to his conclusion : 
and, in order to understand these, we are compelled 
to enter upon the question, far from an easy one, 
who is the ' imponens' of the Articles? as the 
* animus imponentis' must be our rule in sub- 
scribing them. The question itself too is one of 
no slight interest, and the true solution of it 
seems likely to have in many ways important 
bearings. This subject then 1 shall now proceed 
to treat, and afterwards return to the original 
question, on which itself for my own part I believe 
Mr. Newman's ground to be altogether impregnable. 
1. The first view which it occurs to mention as 
to the ' imponens' of the Articles is that which re- 
gards their framers in this light. This seems to have 
been frequently esteemed almost as a ruled point, 
and quotations from Cranmer and Ridley have 
frequently been made, as though their opinions 
were the authorized commentary on the text**. 
But a moment's consideration is sufficient to refute 
this opinion : as well might a committee of the 
House of Commons who are employed to draw up 

• ' The well-known sentiments of the Church of England, 
that is, of the Reformers of Edward the Sixth^s reign.' Arnold's 
Sermons, vol. Hi. p. 423. 


a bill be imagined to be the * imponens' instead 
of the whole legislative body. 

2. Shall we look then upon the Convocation of 
1571 in this light? How can we do so? what 
claim can that have, which the last Convocation 
(of 1662) has not much more ? 

3. But has that real claim ? By what right can 
a Convocation, which ceased to exist more than 
150 years ago, be considered as the present ' im- 
ponens' of our formularies ? 

4. Dismissing then these notions as plainly 
untenable, we come to that which appears the 
true one, for those who look upon our Church as 
Protestant and founded at the Reformation ; viz. 
that the State is the ' imponens.' To such persons 
it would seem that the Articles must naturally 
present themselves as the terms on which the State 
transfers to the English Church the property it has 
taken from the * Romish,' and the security it exacts 
from the teachers whom it pays, that they shall 
teach doctrines it approves. There being of course 
a further question behind, into which we need not 
enter, viz. whether the * animus imponentis' upon 
this view will be the wishes of the existing legisla- 
ture, so far as we can arrive at them, or is to be de- 
termined, like Acts of Parliament, by the authorita- 
tive interpretation of the judicial tribunals. A view 
somewhat similar to this appears at one time to have 
also approved itself to persons of very different 
sentiments. * The view which the Author would 

' take of his own position was probably this, that he 
' was a minister .... of the one Holy Church 

* Catholic, which, among other places, is allowed by 
' her Divine Master to manifest herself locally in 

* England, and has in former times been endowed 
' by the piety of her members : that the State has 
' but secured by law those endowments which it 

* could not seize without sacrilege, and in return for 

* this supposed form has encumbered the rightful 

* possession of them by various conditions calculated 

* to bring the Church into bondage : that her 

* ministers in consequence are in no way bound to 

* throw themselves into the spirit of such enact- 

* ments, rather to observe only such a literal 

* acquiescence as is all that the law requires in 
' any case, all that an external oppressor has a right 

* to ask. Their loyalty is already engaged to the 

* Church Catholic, and they cannot enter into the 

* drift and intentions of her oppressors without 
' betraying her.' Pref. to Froude's Rem. part 1. 

p. XV. 

5. Another very natural opinion looks to the ex- 
isting Church, whether represented by her Bishops 
or otherwise, as the tribunal to be referred to ; and 
there are two branches of this opinion. Some per- 
sons seem to consider that the actual wording of 
the formularies themselves has no claim upon them 
whatever, and is only to be looked upon as the 
exponent of the feeling of the existing Church. 
One of the most intrepid supporters of this opinion 


is Dr. Hey, the third book of whose Divinity 
Lectures, from the fourth to the eighth chapter, will 
well repay the careful perusal of any one interested 
in this question. He so fully considers the feeling 
of the present Church every thing, and the wording 
of her formularies nothing, as not only to justify 
a body of Clergy for making a distinct promise 
to teach doctrines the very opposite to those they 
intend to teach'', but to accuse a Clergyman of 
falsehood who should sign an Article in its natural 
sense, when the body of the Church held opinions 
contradictory to it '. This view is certainly not 
without some plausibility ; yet it seems impossible 

" ♦' The Genevese have now in fact quitted their Calvin- 
" istic doctrines, though in form they retain them : one reason 
'■^ for retaining the form is lest they should be thought heretics 

" by the Dutch Churches When the minister is admitted, 

** he takes an oath of assent to the Scriptures, and professes to 
'* teach them ' according to the Catechism of Calvin ;' but this 
" last clause about Calvin he makes a separate business ; speaking 
" lower or altering his posture or speaking after a considerable 
" interval." Chap. vi. " This shews how a minister of the 
" Church of Geneva is now clear of the crime of prevarication, 
** though there is so strong an appearance of it in the manner of 
'* assenting." Chap. vii. 

" " Supposing the third Article of 1552 had been tacitly 
" instead of expressly repealed," (he means " had it been retained" 
as the context shews,) " and a Minister had been oj" opinion that 
" 1 Pet. iii. 19. was there rightly applied, yet if he declared his 
" assent to the Article in that sense to a Church in which it was 
" unanimously agreed that it was wrongly applied, I should say he 
" was guilty of falsehood." Chap. viii. 


that it should ever become extensively prevalent. 
All our notions of honesty and openness are 
shocked by the idea of subscribing Articles in a 
sense which we do not even profess that their 
wording will bear. It is not necessary then to 
enter into all that might be said (and it is a great 
deal) in proof of its untenableness ; rather we 
would confine our attention to the modification 
of it, which seems at first sight very near to the 
truth, and which has been advocated in a lately 
printed " Letter." According to this theory, we 
should not indeed be justified by any amount of 
Episcopal laxity in signing words which we could 
not ourselves honestly adopt, but neither are we 
justified in signing our formularies in a sense which 
the existing Bishops, as far as we can in any way 
discover, consider (not indeed untrue but) inadmis- 
sible. If I rightly understand the theory, we are 
not to wait for a formal condemnation ; the 
moment we honestly entertain the conviction that 
the Episcopal Synod considers our opinions con- 
demned by the Articles, we lose our power of 
honestly signing them. How much this leaves at 
the discretion of a particular body of Bishops, what 
power it gives them over the very formularies to which 
in the ordinary view they are subject, need not be 
stated : nor shall we be able to estimate rightly the 
arguments for or against this opinion, till we have 
drawn out as clearly as we can what appears its 
rival theory. 


6. Before doing this, let me beg the reader's 
careful attention to the following passage from 
Mr. Newman's Sermons, in which he expresses 
doctrine held by every Catholic : ' Christ by 
coming in the flesh provided an external or appa- 
rent unity, such as had been under the Law. He 
formed His Apostles into a visible society. But, 
when He came again in the person of His Spirit, 
He made them all in a real sense one, not in name 
only. For they were no longer arranged merely in 
the form of unity, as the limbs of the dead may be, 
but they v/eve parts and organs of one unseen power ; 
they really depended upon, and were off- shoots of 
that which was One. . . . Christ came not to make 
us one, but to die for us: the Spirit came to make 
us one in Him who had died and was alive, that is, 
to form the Church. This then is the special glory 
of the Christian Church, that its members do not 
depend merely on what is visible, they are not mere 
stones of a building piled one on another and bound 
together from without, but they are one and all the 
births and manifestations of one and the same 
unseen spiritual principle or power, ''living stones," 
internally connected as branches from a tree, not as 

the parts of a heap Before (the Spirit came) 

God's servants were as the dry bones of the 
Prophet's vision, connected by profession not by 
inward principle; but since, they are all the organs 
as if of one invisible goveiming Soul, the hands or 
the tongues or the feet or the eyes of one and 


* the same directing Mind Such is the 

' Christian Church ; a living body and one, not a 

* mere framework artificially arranged to look Hke 

* one''.' 

Now, in proportion as we realize the full force of 
this great doctrine, we shall necessarily be compelled 
to consider every external development of any 
living branch of Christ's Church, as the language 
of that Holy Spirit who resides within her. If the 
expression be not irreverent, the ' imponens' of every 
statement which she is guided to put forth, Whose 
are really the words which she utters, Who quickens 
the forms which she ordains, is none other than the 
Holy Ghost dwelling in the Catholic Church. Let 
it be observed, I am not deciding what amount of 
error a local Church might superadd to the faith 
without losing her life ; much less what amount of 
apparent error she may present to the eye of a 
superficial observer, the memorial of past sin in her 
governors, and a heavy bondage restraining her acti- 
vity and free development. I am saying only so 
much as this, that if we believe the Church to be the 
dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost, and to have been 
founded for the very purpose of bearing witness to 

* the Faith, once (for all) delivered to the Saints,' (and 
if we cease to believe this, we cease to be Catholics,) 
we cannot but interpret every general and ambiguous 
expression in her formularies in accordance, so far 

'' Vol. iv. Serm. xi. 


as the wording will allow, with that body of doc- 
trine, which, from the first, the Spirit as by His 
overruling power He had caused it to be con- 
tained as to essentials within the words of Holy 
Scripture, so also has openly declared through 
the instrumentality of His organ the Church 
Catholic ^ Nor am I at all sure that this is 
not the fairest statement of the practical way in 
which the author of the Letter alluded to would 
look at the subject. It is far indeed, of course. 

* A principle has been lately advocated, if I rightly understand 
it, the direct opposite to this ; viz. that we are to interpret not 
our formularies by Christian Antiquity but Christian Antiquity 
by our formularies. Were it only meant that, where there is no 
means of knowing the judgment of Antiquity, the decisions of 
our own Church interpreted by herself deserve deference at our 
hands, no one could quarrel with so wise and practical a state- 
ment; but to advocate an ultimate claim on our interior assent 
on the part of a local Church separated from by far the greatest 
part of Christendom, * at a distance of from fifteen to eighteen 

* centuries from the pure fountains of tradition, and exposed to 

* political influences of a highly malignant character,* sounds an 
extravagant notion indeed, and one to which our Church herself 
has never made any pretension. It is interesting also to observe, 
in this as in many other cases, what natural temptation members 
of our Church have to the very faults they so strongly condemn in 
members of the Roman. What so common ground of attack on 
Roman Catholics as that they look at Antiquity through the 
medium of the existing Church, rather than directly? And the 
Roman Church claims infallibility, which makes the practice, in 
her case, at least plausible : the English Church repudiates any 
such claim. 


from making of little importance the existing 
Bishops; on the contrary, the formal decision of 
the successors to the Apostles have, next to the 
Church's fixed formularies, the strongest claims on 
us, as the Voice of the Holy Ghost. From the 
lowest to the highest, from the " godly admo- 
nition" of the individual Bishop to the private 
Clergyman, up to the authoritative statements of 
the whole Episcopal Synod, each in its sphere and 
measure comes with God's delegated authority. 
Only, if this be the true way of regarding it, as, on 
the one hand, we interpret all and each of these de- 
cisions-iin the most Catholic sense which their wording 
will admit, so, on the other, we are exempt from the 
necessity, or duty, of looking for the opinions of in- 
dividual Bishops in any other quarter than in those 
formal decisions of theirs which may come with 
authority to us. They do not speak as organs of 
the Spirit residing in the Church, unless when they 
speak formally as Bishops ^ 

This, if I may be allowed to repeat my own 

^ Over the Faith the existing Church has no power except to 
define and declare it : ' rites and ceremonies' she has the * power to 
decree,' (Art. xx.) From this it would seem to follow that, as am- 
biguities in doctrinal statements are to be interpreted (if possible) 
according to the " semper, ubiqueet ab omnibus," so ambiguities 
in matters of ritual and positive ordinance, where our governors 
express no wish any way, are most fitly interpreted according to 
the existing usage of other branches of the Church, especially 
the Western, by how much she is united to us by closer bonds 
and long standing claims. 


words, was the meaning of the following passage in 
my last pamphlet. " To us, they (our formularies) 
come as the words of some old and revered friend, 
whom we have known long and well, and who has 
long taught us high and holy lessons ; and if, after 
such long experience, we hear from him words 
which at first sound strangely, we interpret them, if 
possible, in accordance with his well-known spirit. 
If they absolutely refuse to be so explained, we 
recognise with sorrow that we have mistaken his 
character ; but in proportion to our experience of 
the preciousness of his former counsels, in pro- 
portion to our perception of the plain traces he 
still bears upon him of his former self, are we 
unwilling to believe that any of his expressions 
may not be so interpreted." It may be added 
also that, if this be so, the Feasts and Fasts in our 
calendar, the Daily Service, &c. will have a certain 
claim on our observance, even though unhappily at 
any time there were no reason to believe that the 
Bishops in general wished to enforce them. 

But here we are met by the Edinburgh Reviewer 
with the allegation that we have cast ourselves off 
from the Ancient Church : and if this be once 
granted, certainly the foregoing argument falls to 
the ground. Considering indeed the complete over- 
throw to the pretensions of all English Catholics 
which would ensue could that position be success- 
fully maintained, one is not a little surprised that 
the writer treats it in so superficial and popular a 


manner. For it is plain that all Englishmen of 
what are commonly called high-church principles, 
whatever be the shade and complexion of their 
doctrinal views, in whatever degree of intensity 
they hold those principles, all, I say, would have 
the very ground cut from under their feet, were 
it to be proved against them, that the present 
English Church is other than that which existed 
before Henry VIII. Great varieties of opinion 
with regard to the Reformation are perfectly con- 
sistent, and do in fact co-exist with Catholic opi- 
nions : some may think it a purification, some 
a corruption, some partly one and partly the 
other ; all these are open questions, which no one 
can profess that our formularies decide either way^ 
any more than whether we have gained or lost by 
the movement of 1688. But there are two extreme 
opinions which cannot possibly be called open 
questions with Anglo-Catholics: 1. if we consider 
the Church to have been so corrupt before the 
Reformation as to lose the essence of a Church, 
our Apostolical Succession which has passed through 
those times will be valueless, and high-church 
opinions an impossibility : 2. if we suppose the 
English Reformation to have severed us from the 
ancient body of the English Church, we shall be 
bound in consistency to leave our own communion 
and join the Church of Rome. The latter of 
these alternatives the Reviewer urges that we are 
thus bound to adopt ; on our principles, he says, 



'• the Church of England is the offspring of an 
" unjustifiable schism and revolution." Alter the 
wording of this a Uttle, and Mr. Newman, at 
least, would appear not unwilling to admit it. He 
intimates, not very obscurely, (Tract, p. 79.) that, 
in releasing her from the Roman supremacy, her 
then governors were guilty of rebellion ; and con- 
sidering they had also sworn obedience to the Pope, 
for my own part I see not how we can avoid adding, 
of perjury. The point on which Mr. Newman would 
take his stand is this ; that, estimating the sin at the 
highest, it was not "that special sin which cuts off from 
the fountains of grace, and is called schism," and this 
position (no one can deny that it is a difficult one) 
he maintained, in an article he has since acknow- 
ledged, in the British Critic a year ago. If the 
Reviewer is willing to discuss the arguments of 
that Article, he is at perfect liberty to do so : one 
does not see how any thing but good can come 
from a fair and acute consideration of it. But what 
does seem surprising is, that, while he labours and 
makes quotations to shew what Mr. N. not only 
does not deny, but expressly maintains, that Cranmer 
and Ridley were of different sentiments from him- 
self on most subjects, (p. 280.) he treats the very 
question on which the whole position of his op- 
ponents depends in the following strain. " Evert/ 
•* one must be astonished that men, professing (these 
" opinions), should continue to hold appointments 
"in a Church, which is generally understood to have 


" been founded on the most positive denial of most 
" of these doctrines, and on a consequent secesdon 
''from the great society which continued to hold 
" them. It is a notorious historical fact, that the 
** doctrines in question ... as a whole . . . have been 
" rejected hy all Protestant communities." (p. 273.) 
Let him prove to us that the Church of England is a 
Protestant community ; that it was founded on the 
denial of Catholic doctrines; that it seceded from 
the Ancient English Church which witnessed these 
doctrines ; let him prove this ; and, though the 
Articles were as obviously on our side as he con- 
siders them overwhelmingly against us, our con- 
science could not allow us to remain one moment 
in a communion which had thus forfeited the gifts 
of grace. 

7. This seems the proper place for noticing the 
view professed in the pamphlet I have alluded to, 
which would dispense with the ' animus imponentis* 
altogether, and lead us to ' construe the Articles by 
themselves.' The writer considers, ' that to a candid 
and impartial inquirer the Articles require no inter- 
pretation at all, and that the anxiety sometimes 
shewn to call in collateral assistance when it is not 
needed, is more frequently symptomatic of a wish 
to evade than to explain.' (p. 5.) He conceives 
that * our subscription to the Articles implies that 
we respect as well as adopt them.' (p. 9.) Here 
one cannot but express surprise at the attempt, pro- 
ceeding apparently from quarters where we should 



least expect it, to close open questions. It is at 
least paradoxical, and requires proof, that subscrip- 
tion to a test involves more than agreement to it, 
and implies approval of its imposition, or respect 
for its phraseology, viewed by itself, and as to its 
human origin. I am not of course expressing any 
opinion on the Articles in this particular ; but 
claiming their Christian liberty for those who may 
desire it, on a subject in which our Church has 
allowed liberty. He adds, that our ' subscription 
implies that they are things to be believed, not to 
be cavilled at, or explained away,' which of course 
we fully acknowledge ; but concludes, that they are 
* our belief itself .' If by this latter clause he means, 
what he seems to imply in other parts of the 
pamphlet, that subscription to the Articles involves 
our reception of them as an adequate expression of 
our belief, as a system of theology into which we 
throw ourselves to catch its spirit, and which places 
divine truths in that relative degree of prominence 
which we conceive them to claim, it is much to be 
lamented that he has not occupied himself in 
proving this position : for here too I apprehend 
most persons of high- church principles would be 
ready to acknowledge that they could not sign them 
on that understanding. Mr. Newman has argued 
with considerable force against any such view in 
Tract 82, p. xxxiii. One passage may be extracted 
to explain his own account of the matter. ' The 
' English Church holds all that the primitive Church 


' held, even in ceremonies, except there be some 

* particular reason for not doing so in this or that 

* instance ; and only does not hold the modern 
' corruptions maintained (he means I presume prac- 

* tically) by Romanism. In these corruptions it 

* departs from Rome ; therefore these are the points 

* in which it thinks it especially necessary to declare 
' its opinion. To these were added the most sacred 

* points of faith, in order to protest against those 

* miserable heresies to which Protestantism had 

* already given birth.' 

But as to the general view of the pamphlet, it 
seems to have much force. Those of course who 
believe concerning our Church what Anglo-Catho- 
lics do believe, cannot, as I have said, possibly 
accept it : but with those who consider our Church 
Protestant, this view may be a fair rival to what 
was mentioned above as the fourth opinion on the 

* animus imponentis.' At the same time, I should 
wish to urge the writer on to his legitimate conclu- 
sions. Let him remember, that the Clergy not only 

* ex animo subscribe' the Articles, but ' give their 
assent and consent to the Book of Common Prayer,* 
and profess ' that there is nothing in it contrary 
to the word of God.' And though the pamphlet 
maintains the Articles to be Protestant, its author 
will hardly deny the Prayer Book to be Catholic. 
Yet if this be so, he must explain the letter of 
the one, as far as may be, by the spirit of the 
other. Whichever he chooses as the foundation, 


the spirit of the other, on his own shewing must be 
neglected, and the letter explained drily, and (what 
he would call) disingenuously. For instance, he 
considers that Article VI. determines as to Holy 
Scripture, ' that the person who reads therein is the 
person who is meant to prove thereby,' (p. 19.) i. e. 
that the private Christian is at liberty to follow on all 
points his own judgment on the text of Scripture, 
though it differ from the Church's judgment. 
Now the Prayer Book contains the Athanasian 
Creed, (which indeed the Articles also recognise,) 
and this Creed, if words have meaning, condemns 
as in itself a mortal sin (of course no judgment 
need be passed on individual cases) the holding 
any other doctrine of the Sacred Verities on which 
it treats than the detailed and specific one which it 
draws out. Most naturally, if it be the duty of the 
individual Christian to receive the Church's decision 
on such points ; for then in declining to do so, he 
violates a plain duty ; and the deliberate violation 
of a plain duty is in itself mortal sin. But most 
cruel indeed would be the decision, that a private 
individual may, or rather indeed ought, on such 
subjects, to draw his own opinion from Scripture, 
and yet if he fail to see in the Sacred Writings this 
definite statement, he is subject to so severe a 
sentence. This sort of enumeration, were it worth 
while, might be drawn out to almost any length : 
' the Article on Baptism savours of a Calvinistic 
source.' Granted, yet the service for Baptism is so 


plain that none can mistake. ' The Article on the 
Holy Communion is vague and indeterminate :' 
well — the statement in the Catechism will explain 
the ambiguity. ' The Article on the Visible Church 
seems anti-Catholic ;' supposing it so for argument's 
sake, still the Ordination Service in itself affords 
little doubt of its meaning. ' The Articles on 
Justification seem Lutheran ;' let us consider the 
whole tone of the Prayer Book, the Confessions, 
(written, as is remarkable, by the Reformers them- 
selves,) Prayers, Psalms, the appointment of Fast- 
days, &c. If then the opinion professed in the 
pamphlet as to the natural spirit of the Articles 
be true, (and I am not disposed to dispute it,) 
according to the writer's own principles by which of 
the two is he to hold? and when he proceeds to 
explain the words of the other according to the 
spirit of that one, how will he rescue himself, 
according to his own statements, from the charge 
of ' dethroning conscience from her tribunal, and 

* setting himself strong in all the soul-destroying 

* arts of verbal subtlety and mental reservation?' 
(p. 23.) 


Having then brought out what appears the most 
accurate analysis of the view maintained in the 
Tract as to the " imponens," we may go on to the 
question now more immediately in controversy. 


For let me again remind the reader, that the 
discussion we have hitherto pursued is ex abun- 
danti ; at present we are maintaining that the 
Articles were never drawn up with the view of 
excluding those whose opinions we should follow. 
Of course the prima facie objection to this hypo- 
thesis is that, whatever mafy be made of their logic, 
as it has been most happily expressed, " their 
rhetoric is Protestant." And in my last pamphlet 
I said, that, while many English Catholics w^ould 
strongly oppose any such admission, Mr. Newman 
and those who think with him on the subject could 
not feel able to do so. This seemed as plainly 
implied in the Tract as words can imply it ; and I 
ventured to state the sense in which those ex- 
pressions seemed intended which at first sight looked 
the other way : viz. " if the Church be in our sense 
of the words a branch of the Church Catholic, 
she must be understood to mean certain doctrines 
by certain statements." Nor does this seem at all 
an unnatural way of speaking in persons who are 
far from maintaining that those who think other- 
wise cannot subscribe our formularies ; much less 
that every part of our Prayer-book and Articles 
witnesses harmoniously to the same line of doc- 
trine. For instance, Dr. Arnold, whom I should 
be sorry indeed to speak of in other terms than 
those of high respect, in the appendix to his third 
volume of Sermons, speaks as follows; "the 
" twenty-first Article .... effectually asserts the 


*' supremacy of Christian governors all over the 
** world, over Christian Ministers thus distinctly 
'* denying that the government of the Church is con- 
" veyed by the so-called Apostolical succession^'* &c. 
p. 436. " Those who think with the Church of 
" England that the Christian Ministry is not a 
** Priesthood," p. 432. I am far from supposing 
that Dr. Arnold means that so many of our Clergy 
from that day to this are really not justified in sub- 
scribing our formularies, because of their difference 
from him in this particular ; rather I imagine he 
considers the particular form, into which Cranmer 
and Ridley moulded our doctrine and discipline, 
a remarkable testimony to what he conceives the 
truth ; and thinks himself at liberty to interpret 
difficult parts of our formularies by the light of 
their opinions. For instance, in his interpretation 
of the words in the Ordination Service, he cannot 
suppose that he is expressing the fair and natural 
sense of the words ; but rather mentioning the sense 
in which he subscribes them, and by which he brings 
them into harmony with what in his view is the 
general spirit of the Church of England. Mutatis 
mutandis this is exactly what the Tract does as to 
the Articles on which it treats. 

However, as so much has been said about forced 
constructions, it may be as well to add the passage 
in our formularies, with Dr. Arnold's explanation. 

" Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and 
*• work of a Priest in the Church of God, now 


' committed unto thee by the imposition of our 
' hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive they are 
' forgiven ; and whose sins thou dost retain they 
' are retained." 

Dr. Arnold says, " These words undoubtedly 
' would be ' superstitious and ungodly' in our 
' mouths, if the well-known sentiments of the 
' Church of England, that is, of the reformers of 

* Edward the Sixth's reign, as to the Priestly 

* power, did not lead us in fairness to put a true 

* construction on them. And this construction 
' seems to be the following. The Bishop says to 

* the candidate for Orders, 

" You have expressed your hope that you were 
' moved by the Holy Ghost to enter on this Ministry. 
' We are confident that He who has begun a good 
' work in you, will complete it to the end; that, as 

* He has given you the will, so also will He give 

* you the power to do. May His help and blessing 

* be with you, that by wisdom and goodness you 

* may shew yourself a true Minister of Christ. 
' Your office is to preach God's word. Whoso- 

* ever listens to your preaching, God will justify ; 
' and whoever despises it, him God will con- 

* demn^." Sermons, vol. iii. p. 423. 

* There is no quality more remarkable to the most casual 
observer in Dr. Arnold's writings, than their very great frank- 
ness and openness. There need be the less scruple then in 
drawing attention to a curious omission in this part of his 
essay ; for a reader must be prejudiced indeed who can attribute 


Still, after all, it seems to be considered in some 
quarters, (I could hardly have thought it possible 
had 1 not good authority for knowing it,) that the 
Tract represents the Articles on which it treats 
as exhibiting, by their own wording and natural 
spirit, that sense in which Anglo-Catholics subscribe 
them. And the Reviewer complains accordingly, 
that ' Mr. Newman . . . attempts to pass off his in- 
terpretation ... as the genuine sense of the Articles,' 
(p. 288.) meaning apparently the same thing. Yet 

to him any degree whatever of wilful disingenuousness. He says, 
(p. 422.) ' the words of our Lord to His Apostles must 

• necessarily, when addressed by the Bishop to any man now 

* ordained Minister, be interpreted in the first place as a prayer, 

* as a charitable hope, rather than as signifying the actual and 
' certain conveyance of any gift or grace at that very time, and 
' by the virtue of the laying on of hands,* &c. And just after- 
wards he explains, as we have seen, the words used by the 
Bishop in the Ordination of Priests : but he takes no notice 
whatever of the form used in the Consecration of Bishops, which 
contains the following passage ; * Receive the Holy Ghost, &c. 
' . . . . And remember that thou stir up the grace of God which 

• is given thee by this imposition of hands.' 

Is it uncharitable to say, that, had such an omission, with 
regard to so critical a doctrine, been found in the Tract, it 
would have raised in many persons a suspicion of wilful suppres- 
sion which could hardly have been got over ? Let me repeat, 
the very idea of such suppression in Dr. Arnold's case would 
never for an instant cross my mind : I am only anxious to 
enforce the consideration on those whom it may concern, from 
such an example in so very open and plain-spoken a writer, how 
careful they should be, without the clearest evidence, in charging 
their brethren with unfair dealing. 


it is difficult to think bow the opposite can have 
been more clearly implied than it is in the Tract. 
In the conclusion it is alleged as an objection, 
" that it is an evasion of their meaning to give 
" them any other than a Protestant drift, possible 
'* as it may be to do so grammatically, or in each 
" separate part." And the answers Mr. Newman 
gives imply no denial whatever, that their natural 
drift is Protestant ; indeed many highly respected 
persons have been much grieved at the Tract for 
conceding so much more than they could concede, 
with regard to the apparent Protestantism of parts 
of the Articles. And in the introduction he speaks 
of our being " in a disadvantageous state," " in 
prison, with Christ for our keeper," as " having 
betrayed His sacred truth," (p. 3.) as being " in 
bondage," " in chains ;" " let us submit," it says, 
" to our imperfection^, a? a punishment ; let us go 
" on teaching through the medium of indeter- 
" minate confessions (with the stammering lips 
*' of ambiguous formularies, 1st ed.) and incon- 
** sistent precedents and principles but partially 

" developed Let us not frit t under that 

" body of death .... nor shrink from the penalty 
" of sins which they inherited from the age before 
•' them.'' And in the note it not obscurely instructs 
us to look at " the judgment of King Charles's 
*• murder," as " brough: down by the crying sins" 
of the Reformation, (p. 5.) Is Mr. Newman, {so 
cautious and guarded in his statements as all admit him 


to be,) is he to be supposed to use words of such 
unprecedented strength as these without meaning 
and at random? Or is it conceivable that he 
could use them if he thought our Articles fair 
and adequate exponents of Catholic Truth ? How 
could he speak and think as he does of the English 
Reformation, if he supposed that the formulary then 
originated was even as naturally susceptible of 
Catholic as of Protestant interpretation ? No ! he 
would acknowledge, I apprehend, that as it has been 
expressed, while it is patient of a Catholic, it is 
ambitious of a Protest nt, sense; that, while it was 
never intended to exclude Catholics, it was written 
by, and in the spirit of, Protestants; that, in coU' 
sequence of it, the English Church seems at least 
to give an uncertain sound ; that she fails in one 
of her very principal duties, that of witnessing 
plainly and directly to CathoHc truth ; that she 
seems to include whom she ought to repel, to teach 
what she is bound to anathematize ; and that it 
is difficult to estimate the amount of responsibility 
she year by year incurs on account of those (claim- 
ing, as many of them do, our warm love for a zeal 
and earnest piety worthy of a purer faith) who 
remain buried in the darkness of Protestant error, 
because she fails in her duty of holding clearly forth 
to them the light of Gospel truth. 

If it appears undutiful in a member of the 
English Church to speak so strongly of her de- 
fective state, let it be imputed to a strong convic- 


tion, that, till we have the grace of humility in a far 
greater degree than we seem in general, since the 
schism of the sixteenth century, to have had it, 
there is little hope of our Church taking its proper 
place, whether in England or in Christendom. Let 
those whose love for her is lukewarm, content 
themselves with mourning in private over her de- 
cayed condition, her true and faithful children 
will endeavour to waken the minds of their bre- 
thren to a sense of her present degradation". 

• It may be thought that such statements, at all events, have 
a tendency to encourage the secession of our members to Rome. 
The opposite will I think be found true. Those whose tendency 
is that way are sure enough to find out and feel of themselves, 
and that the more keenly the more holy and self-denying their 
daily walk, our defects and corruptions. If they find no sym- 
pathy in our Church, they will leave it; if they find that English 
Churchmen of high repute and authority do sympathize fully 
with their feelings and wishes, and yet enforce the duty of 
remaining where they are, this and this only is likely to retain 
them. Nor can Mr. Newman be charged with any neglect of 
the task of pointing out the miserable practical corruptions of 
the Churches in the Roman obedience ; (see his Letters to 
Dr. Jelf and the Bishop of Oxford;) corruptions which, whether 
or not so grievous as our own, (for this is no business of ours,) are 
sufficiently shocking and repulsive to afford the strongest argu- 
ment against their claim to make up of themselves the whole 
Catholic Church. And if they do not; that is, if the English 
also be a branch, this is enough to make it a plain sin for any 
one of us to leave it. Mr. Newman's own opinion of the present 
state of Christendom may be gathered from the following passage 
in the British Critic. 

" It is impossible to read the history of the Church, up to the 


* We can have no accord in action,' says the 
Tract, ' till we agree together in heart,' and * till 
' we seek one another as brethren, not lightly 

* throwing aside our private opinions, which we 

* seem to feel we have received from above, from 

* an ill-regulated untrue desire of unity, but re- 

* turning to each other in heart :' and this cannot 
be, till we say plainly and openly, yet lovingly, 
what we think ; bearing with those who think 
otherwise, and endeavouring on each side to realize 

•* last four or Jive hundred years, with an unprejudiced mind, 
" without perceiving that, whatever were the faults of her servants 
" and the corruptions of her children, she has on the whole been 
*' the one element of civilization, light, moral improvement, peace, 

" and purity, in the world In the darkest times she 

" will be found, when contrasted with other powers, to be fighting 
" the cause of truth and right against sin, to be a witness for God, 
" or defending the poor, or purifying or reforming her own func- 
" tionaries, or promoting peace, or maintaining the holy Faith 
" committed to her. This she was, till she quarrelled with ker- 
"■ self and divided into parts; what she has been since, what she 
" is now, a future age must decide; we can only trust in faith 
" that she is what she ever has been, and was promised ever to 
*' be, one amid her divisions, and holy amid her corruptions. 
" But returning to the thought of former and happier times, &c." 
May I repeat also from my last pamphlet that our own Church 
is " all the dearer to us her faithful children from her present 
" captivity, and from the imminent dangers which have threat- 
" ened her," and that " to remain in our own Church and by 
'* God's help endeavour to elevate its tone, cannot be looked upon 
** by the Catholic Christian as (only) the cold performance of a 
** duty, bat (as) a labour of love." 


our mutual feelings and impressions ; in the hope 
that the full truth, whatever it may be, may 
thus the more perfectly be elicited and recognized 
by us all. 

And if it give pain to any persons that the 
English Reformers, whose memory they have so 
long been taught to cherish and revere, should 
be spoken of in a harsh and disrespectful manner, 
let them consider how necessary it is in self-defence 
to do so. Any thoughtful person of late years 
must have observed, that, whenever a fair discussion 
of our Articles should come on, a degree of plain 
speaking would be necessary, which before would 
have been wanton and cruel. That any disparaging 
language should be used of those persons, where it 
it is likely to give pain, in a light careless way 
or without plain and direct cause, is of course quite 
indefensible : but it is come to this, that either 
plain words must be put forth about them, or all 
who agree with Mr. Froude and his editors in their 
estimate of them, and yet subscribe the Articles, 
must be accused, without the power of self-defence, 
of dishonesty and unfair dealing. And let it be 
remembered, that at least we are not without ex- 
perience ourselves of the pain we unwillingly inflict 
on others. Not to dwell on the harsh and unkind 
manner in which our sister Churches are spoken 
of even by Catholic-minded and most highly re- 
spected persons, a manner more painful, perhaps, 
than they imagine to many an English Churchman, 


refer only to the severe language in which those 
whom we revere as eminent saints, the Popes and 
others of the middle ages, are popularly spoken 
of. Think too, which is much to our present pur- 
pose, of the language used by Bishop Jewel, for 
instance, and other writers of that era themselves, 
with regard to those who went before them, and we 
shall hardly think they have much claim on the 
forbearance of posterity. 


This then is the point for our present discussion. 
Did the framers of the Articles intend to draw 
them up so as to exclude those who would think as 
Mr. Newman and his friends think ? We do not 
deny that they meant also to include others, nay 
that the Articles taken by themselves more na- 
turally and easily include others ; and thus we 
have an obvious answer to an objection not 
unfrequently made, viz. that by the fact of our 
Prayer-book omitting, e. g. Invocation of Saints 
and Prayers for the Dead, a tacit condemnation is 
pronounced on such practices. Whereas it is 
plain that to admit them into our public services, 
would be to require belief in their lawfulness and 
propriety ; and we only contend that such belief is 
not forbidden. 

The ground on which I proceeded in my last 
pamphlet, and purpose again to proceed, is exclu- 
sively that of the internal evidence arising from 


the known public documents of the period. I said 
also that the historical fact well deserved an atten- 
tive investigation, whether persons of undoubtedly 
Catholic sentiments did not subscribe ; and any 
qualified person would perform a most important 
service by undertaking the enquiry. Of course the 
probability would remain untouched that it was 
much desired they should do so, even were the 
fact discovered to be doubtful ; and it seems prim^ 
facie plain, that the circumstances of the time 
would make them exceedingly anxious to preserve 
as much union as possible within the Church. 
Now we have the testimony of Mr. Gladstone 
in the same direction, the more valuable from being 
so wholly irrespective of the present controversy. 
' The main subject of contention between the State 

* and the Romanists, or recusants, as they were 

* called, ivas not their adhesion to this or that 
' popish doctrine, but their acknowledgment of an 

' un-national and anti-national head.' * The 

' British government required of its subjects the 
' renunciation not of Romish doctrines, but of the 
' ecclesisatical supremacy of the Pope *.' The tend- 
ency of the reasoning in the Tract, proceeding from 
altogether independent considerations, is exactly in 
the same way, viz. that the Articles also were not di- 
rected against those who retained the old doc- 
trines, so that they were willing to join in a 
protest against the shameful practical corruptions 

» * State in its relations with the Church," p. 190, 1. 


in existence, and also to give up their allegiance to 
the Pope. Mr. Gladstone, in proceeding to give 
the possible account of this procedure on the part 
of the government, mentions as one of two alterna- 
tives (he appears himself equally balanced between 
them) that " it was not the existing Church as 
" a religious institution, but the secular ambition 
** of the papal See, against which security was 
'• sought by renouncing its jurisdiction," " and we 
*' perceive," he adds, " the more clearly how far 
" the idea of our reformers was from any thing like 
*' alteration of essence, or the overthrow of an old 
" church and the erection of a new one." The 
author of a pamphlet called " Strictures on No. 90 
" of the Tracts for the Times," says, I know not 
on what authority, " History informs us of the fact, 
** that many did truly sign the Articles who were 
" not only Catholics, ' men who did not go so far 
" in Protestantism as the framers,' but Romanists^ 
" absolute Papists.'' (Part ii. p. 87.) Papists, that 
is, of course,who agreed to give up the Pope, and I 
suppose, w^ho further would protest against the prac- 
tical " Romish" corruptions. This is plainly the 
point to which the reasoning in the Tract leads. 

How then do we reconcile our two positions, 
that the Articles in themselves breathe a Protestant 
spirit, and yet were intended to admit persons of 
Anti-Protestant feeling? 

1. The Articles were written by Protestants, and 
yet were written with the intention of being sub- 



mitted to a Convocation, and with the wish that they 
should be signed by a clergy, great numbers of whom 
were more or less Catholic If this be so, the 
spirit will naturally be that of the framers^ and yet 
the wording carefully adjusted so as to admit 
others. Add to this, that verbal alterations would 
naturally be introduced in the course of the dis- 
cussion in Convocation, and so a fresh contrast 
added between the spirit of the whole composition, 
and the wording of the individual parts. Now in 
proof of this difference in sentiment between the 
framers and others to whose wishes they were 
obliged to defer, we may mention : 

I. On what the Pamphlet calls " the leading 
" doctrine of Protestantism, that all things neces- 
" sary to salvation are to be found from the Scrip- 
" tures by an ordinary intellect," (p. 7.) on what 
the Reviewer considers " the great principle of the 
" Reformation," that " the Bible is the sole oracle 
" of God," (p. 278.) it is a plain undeniable fact, 
that if the leading Reformers were Protestant, were 
faithful sons of the Reformation, they differed from 
the Convocation which sanctioned the Articles. 
(See post, p. 46.) 

IT. The same conclusion that either the framers 
of the Articles were not Protestant, or that whatever 
their own tendency to Erastianism, or to toleration 
of Presbyterianism, or to considering the ancient 
Church Apostate, or to denial of the Church's 
office as the appointed channel for dispensing the 


fruits of Christ's atonement, they intended to retain 
as Clergymen of the Church those who thought 
otherwise, follows from the very fact of the Prayer 
Book remaining untouched by that Convocation. 
To what purpose the Ordination Service with the 
introduction forbidding any man to be " accounted 
a lawful Clergyman of the Church of England 
without Episcopal Ordination," unless it was wished 
to include those who thought such Ordination 
essential? for what reason the habit, which has 
lasted up to the present time, of re-ordaining a 
Protestant Teacher and not re-ordaining a Roman 
Priest on joining us, if it were intended to rule 
that we were a Protestant Church ? to what end 
the marked omission of the word " Protestant," in 
both Prayer Book and Articles ? the strong lan- 
guage in the Baptismal and Communion Service ? 
the Absolution in the Visitation of the Sick ? the 
retention of all the old frame- work of the Church, 
of the temporal rights of Bishops, of Chapters, &c. ? 
indeed the catalogue is almost endless of the exter- 
nal works of agreement with the Ancient System 
which were retained. 

III. '* The variety of doctrinal views contained in 
*' the Homilies, views which cannot be brought under 
" Protestantism itself in its greatest comprehension 
*' of opinions, is an additional proof, considering 
*• the connexion of the Articles with the Homilies, 
" that the Articles were not framed on the prin- 
" ciple of excluding those who prefer the theology 


" of the early ages to that of the Reformation." 
(Tract, p. 81.) It is astonishing how so acute a 
writer as the Author of the Pamphlet should have 
so entirely missed the force of this argument. He 
quotes Mr. Newman's words, " I have not sub- 
scribed the Homilies, &c." and adds, " and yet 
" this yoke, which he is so unwiUing to wear 
"himself, he would impose upon the Articles:^' 
(p. 20.) as though it were intended to claim the 
latter as authoritatively Catholic. The plain scope 
of the reasoning is this, if the Articles were framed 
on the principle of excluding Catholics, would not 
Catholic doctrines have been to a certainty carefully 
excluded from the Homilies ? yet they are far from 
being so excluded. " The authority of the Fathers, 
" of the six first Councils, and of the judgments of 
" the Church generally, the holiness of the Primi- 
'< tive Church, the inspiration of the Apocrypha, 
** the sacramental character of Marriage and other 
" Ordinances, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, 
" the Church's power of excommunicating kings, 
^* the profitableness of fasting, the propitiatory 
** virtue of good works, the Eucharistic com- 
" memoration, and justification by inherent righte- 
" ousness (1st ed.) are taught in the Homilies," 
Tract, p. 75 ; therefore the Articles were (not in- 
tended to teach Catholicism, the Tract no where 
asserts that, but) not iramed on the principle 
of excluding Catholics, The pamphlet in reply 
to the question, * whether we ought to con- 


* strue the Articles inclusively or exclusively,' 

says, * Honestly. Take care of that, and let 

' inclusion or exclusion .... take care of itself.' 

(p. 11.) Yet this is no adequate answer to the 

doubt stated. The meaning of those who ask 

the question, is to ask, are we to look at the 

Articles as ' of the nature of a creed, intended to 

teach doctrine, or of the nature of a joint declara- 

tion^' intended to be vague and to include persons 

of discordant sentiments? Here shall follow Mr. 

Newman's opinion on this subject, which will the 

more shew the total inadequacy of the answer 

given in the pamphlet. ' The meaning of the 

Creed (and again of the Liturgy) is known;' there 

is no opportunity for doubt here : it means but 

one thing ; and he who does not hold that one 

meaning, does not hold it at all. But the case is 

different, (to take an illustration,) in the drawing 

up of a pohtical declaration or of a petition to 

Parhament. It is composed by persons, differing 

in matters of detail, agreeing together to a certain 

point and for a certain end. Each narrowly watches 

that nothing is inserted to prejudice his own 

particular view, or stipulates for the insertion of 

what may rescue it. Hence general words are 

used, or particular words inserted, which by 

superficial enquirers afterwards are criticised as 

vague and indeterminate on the one hand, or 

inconsistent on the other : but in fact they all 

have a meaning and a history could we ascertaio 


' it. And if the parties concerned in such a 

* document are legislating and determining for pos- 

* terity, they are respective representatives of cor- 

* responding parties in the generations after 

* them. Now the Thirty-nine Articles lie between 

* these two, between a Creed and a mere joint 

* Declaration : to a certain point ihey have mean- 
' ing, so far as they embody the doctrine of the 

* Creed ; they have different meanings so far as 
' they are drawn up by men influenced by the 

* discordant opinions of the day.' Tract 82. p. xxx. 

Thus, then, we have one reason to give for the 
phenomenon we are discussing. The Articles 
were written by Protestants, and therefore naturally 
breathe the Protestant spirit ; yet those Protestants 
either carefully worded them at the time or admit- 
ted modifications of them afterwards, with the very 
intention of not excluding those of an opposite 

2. A second reason why they appear to us more 
Protestant than they really are, is that from long 
habit in some cases we have come to look on 
Roman doctrines as condemned, when only the 
corruptions of those doctrines, fostered by so many 
of the priests and received by the people at large, 
were aimed at. This in my last pamphlet I enforced 
at some length with regard to the twenty-second 
Article, by help of quotations from the Homilies 
and in elucidation of the reasoning in the Tract. 
Nor am 1 aware of any attempt to invalidate the 


reasoning I there used, or which calls for further 
remark on the subject. Such also is perhaps the 
account of the thirty-first Article^. 

3. A third consideration to be borne in mind 
is, that they really seem in some cases to have 
confused the popular superstitions with doctrines 
maintained by holy and religious men ; so that they 
considered themselves to be condemning opinions 
seriously maintained by the latter, when in fact 
these last would join in the condemnation as readily 
as they could themselves. This seems the more 
probable account of the thirty-first Article'^, and 
the true account of the twelfth and thirteenth '''. 
Somewhat similar is the account of the condemna- 
tion of the word ' transubstantiation' in the twenty- 
eighth Article : on which such gross and impious 
superstitions seem to have existed among the 
people, nay, such startling statements to have been 
made even by writers of repute and spiritually- 
minded men, (see Tract, p. 47 — 51.) that it is not 
to be w'ondered at that the word should be supposed 
necessarily to involve more than it really does. 
Mr. Palmer on the Church, (vol. ii. p. 224.) con- 
siders ' it very probable that Innocentius in the 
synod of Lateran,' (in introducing the term ' tran- 
substantiation,') ' did not intend to establish any 
thing except the doctrine of the real presence.* 
In the case of the fourteenth Article we are not 
left in uncertainty ; they explicitly state the doc- 
trine they condemn, viz. that by which * men do 

* On these Articles more will be said presently. 


* declare that they do not only render unto God as 

* much as they are bound to do, but that they do 
more for his sake than of bounden duty is required.' 

I apprehend such a notion as this, if put forth by 
any in conspicuous position, would have been 
anathematized in any age of the Christian Church. 
Luther seems to have been the first who taught in 
pubhc, and founded a sect on the position, that the 
whole Law of God is not binding on the Christian's 
conscience ; and if the remark do not appear para- 
doxical, he really seems in some of his writings to 
take the view condemned in the Article '\ That 
doctrine of orthodox believers, as I stated in my 
last pamphlet, which seems popularly supposed to 
be here condemned and yet which so plainly is not, 
is truly stated thus, viz. that ' it is possible for His 

* sake to do more, to make higher advances in holi- 
' ness, than the least which in His great mercy for 

* the merit of Christ's death. He will accept as 

* sufficient to salvation'.' 

h e. g. ' Hanc [justitiam Christi] cum intus habeo, descendo 

* de ccelo .... hoc est prodeo foras in aliud regnum et facio bona 

* opera quaecunque mihi occurrent.' Luther Arg. in Gal. quoted 
by Newman on Justif. p. 31. 

' There is (I believe) no doctrine on works of supererogation 
authoritatively taught by the Church of Rome: and the com- 
monly received account of them in that Communion is altogether 
on a distinct subject, and connected with the temporal sufferings 
due to sin. In defence of the latter truth (that afflictions in this 
world do come as punishments for past sin in the justified) 
which has lately been impugned, see Newman's Sermons, vol. iv. 
Serm. vii. viii. 


4. So far then, there is nothing which many 
admirers of the Reformers need hesitate to admit ; 
nothing at all disparaging to their honesty and 
open dealing. But in the mind of the Author 
of the Tract (and many feel with him) there still 
remain peculiarities in the phraseology of the 
Articles which cannot be accounted for without 
going further. ' Some there are/ says the 
Pamphlet very truly, • who hold that the Reformers 

* deliberately drew up the Articles with a view 
' of presenting an appearance of Protestantism 
' which a more minute examination will not bear 

* out ; thus taking a distinction between their 
' prima facie and their literal sense.' (p. 21.) By 
help of this view I followed the Tract in my last 
publication in endeavouring to throw light on the 
twenty-eighth, twenty-fifth, and thirty-second Ar- 
ticles. It will not be necessary to say more on the 
subject, than that if true it cuts very deep, 
and the consideration of it will relieve many 
minds of perplexities on several kindred sub- 
jects which much distress them. There is do- 
cumentary evidence to shew that Bishop Jewel 
at least was exceedingly anxious that our Church 
should appear to foreign Protestants as agreeing 
with themselves ; but indeed in their position, 
whether in Elizabeth's or Edward the Sixth's 
time, it must have been of the highest im- 
portance to them that the English Church should 
have the appearance in the eyes of Christendom 
of being united in Protestant opinions. To adjust 


between this consideration and the last with ac- 
curacy is of course not possible nor at all im- 
portant : on the one hand, that they were really 
and honourably zealous against many practical 
corruptions, cannot be doubted ; and their failing 
to think of the distinction between such corrup- 
tions and the truth of which they were perversions, 

* would seem a natural result from their apparent 

* tendency to view religious opinions /rom without, 

* rather looking at them in their effects on the 

* mass^ of men, than applying themselves to the 
' enquiry, what might be their meaning, and what 

* place they might legitimately hold, in the mind of 
' the more rehgious.' On the other hand, such 
wish of our Church's appearing externally Pro- 
testant, would disinchne them to any very careful 
and pains-taking attempts to master the real doc- 
trine, in order that by help of what sounded like a 
condemnation of Ancient doctrine the apparent 
difference between our own Church and Rome 
might be the greater. 

The writer of the pamphlet proceeds, with ap- 
parent reference to myself individually ; ' Such 

* men are fallen on evil days ; they should have 

* lived in times when they might have originated 

* the pious frauds they are now only able to benefit 

* by.' Is not this rather hard ? The view in 
question may be true or false ; but if true, is it 
not a strange notion of poetical justice that Pro- 
testant ' pious frauds' of three centuries since, 
should injure now not Protestants but Catholics ? 


Let us now then proceed at once to the Article 
on General Councils : for the Reviewer and many 
other persons seem to think the interpretation 
of this Article in the Tract to be so flagrant a case, 
that till it is disposed of, one can hardly expect 
fair attention to the subject of other Articles. 

" XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils. 

" General Councils may not be gathered together with- 
" out the commandment and will of Princes. And when 
" they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an 
•' assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the 
" Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes 
" have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Where- 
" fore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation 
" have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be 
*' declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture."" 

Now it will at once be said, as it has been so 
often, that at first sight the natural spirit and drift 
of this Article seems to deny any infallible authority 
to any General Councils, and to declare that no 
General Council has any claim on the consciences 
whether of local churches or of individuals, except 
so far as its decrees approve themselves to their 
judgments as accordant with Scripture. Now I not 
only do not deny that this seems on reading it the 
natural drift of the Article, but I strongly maintain 
it ; I maintain it, in order that if it be shewn quite 
impossible that this can have been the sense in 
which it was sanctioned, any proposed interpreta- 


tion may be free from the a priori objection, that it 
appears rather a strain upon the words. If the 
words, unless rather a strain be put upon them, 
seem naturally to determine what it is quite certain 
they were never meant to determine, then they must 
have rather a strain put upon them. Nor do I 
decide how far the consideration spoken of in the 
last paragraph may serve to account for its strong 
prima facie appearance of decreeing what it cer- 
tainly does not decree. Let me make then rather 
large quotations from Mr. Perceval's late pamphlet, 
with the view of shewing not only the amount 
of deference paid in the public documents of our 
Church to primitive antiquity as interpreting Scrip- 
ture imth authority, but even the deference which 
the Reformers themselves (whether honestly and 
heartily or not is another matter) professed for it in 
this particular. 

•' Let us hear Cranmer speaking : 

" * I protest that it was never in my mind to 
•' write, speak, or understand any thing contrary to 
" the most holy Word of God, or else against the 
** holy Catholic Church of Christ, but purely and 
" simply to imitate and teach those things only 
" which I had learned of the Sacred Scripture, 
" and of the Catholic Church of Christ from the 
*• beginning, and also according to the exposition 
** of the most holy and learned fathers and martyrs 
•' of the Church. And if any thing, peradventure, 
" hath chanced otherwise than I thought, I may 


'• err; but heretic I cannot be, forasmuch as I am 
" ready in all things to follow the judgment of the 
" most sacred Word of God, and of the holy Catholic 
** Church.' — Appeal to a General Council. 

"Ridley speaks thus: 'When I perceive the 
" greatest part of Christianity to be infected with 
" the poison of the See of Rome, I repair to the 
*' usage of the primitive Church.^ 

" Farrar, Hooker, Taylor, Philpot, Bradford, 
" and Coverdale, speak thus: * We doubt not, by 
" God's grace, but we shall be able to prove all our 
" confession here to be most true, by the verity of 
" God's word, and consent of the Catholic Church.* — 
'• Confession at Oxford, 1554. 

" Philpot still more plainly speaks thus, at his 
*' fourth examination: — The Bishop of Gloucester 
" asked him, ' I pray you, by whom will you be 
" judged in matters of controversy which happen 
"daily?' Philpot answered, 'By the Word of 
" God, for Christ saith in St. John, the Word that 
" He spake shall be judge in the latter day.' The 
" Bishop then asked him, ' What if you take the 
" Word one way, and I another way, who shall 
" judge then V Mark Philpot's answer : ' The 
" PRIMITIVE Church/ " 

Mr. Perceval next alludes to " the decision of 
" the Church of England in the time of the 
" Reformation," " a decision pronounced in open 
*' Synod, and propounded to the Clergy of the 
" Church of England." " It was decreed in the 


" Convocation of 1571, assembled under Arch- 
*' bishop Parker, and ratified by him." (p. 10.) 
*' The decree is entitled, De Concionatoribus, and 
" contains rules for the guidance of all preachers 
" in the Church of Eng-and. The words which 
" concern the point in dispute are as follows : ' In 
" the first place^ they (the preachers) shall see that 
" they never teach any thing, for a discourse, which 
" they wish to be religiously held and believed by the 
** people, but what is agreeable to the doctrine of the 
" Old and New Testament, and what the Catho- 
*' Lie Fathers and ancient Bishops have col- 
" lected out of that same doctrine.^ " 

" If more proof is wanted, I can adduce it in 
" abundance, by citing the Book of Homilies, 
" prepared by the Reformers in the reigns of 
'• Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth, for the in- 
" struction of all classes of the people; recom- 
** mended by our Articles to this day as fit for 
"that purpose; and to a general approval of 
*' which, every member of the University of Ox- 
" ford, every graduate of Cambridge, and every 
*' bishop, priest, and deacon in the Church of 
" England, is pledged by the subscription of his 
'• own hand. If there be one feature throughout 
" the whole of the Homilies more remarkable than 
" another, it is the exhibition of that very principle 
" of deference to the ancient Church, for the 
" maintenance of which so much reproach has 
** been heaped upon our heads. In this mode- 


rately-sized volume of sermons we lind Ambrose, 
and Anselm, and Athanasius, and Arnobius, and 
Augustine, and Basil, and Bede, and Bernard, 
and Boniface, and Chrysostom, and Clemens, 
and Cyprian, and Cyril, and Damascene, and 
Dionysius, and Epiphanius, and Eusebius, and 
Eusebius of Emissa, and Eutropius, and Ful- 
gentius, and Gregory, and Hilary, and Ignatius, 
and Irenaeus, and Jerome, and Isidore, and 
Justin, and Lactantius, and Origen, and CEcu- 
menius, and Optatus, and Prosper, and Paulus 
Diaconus, and Photius, and Serenus, and Theo- 
phylact, and Tertullian, and Zephyrus, and Ze- 
phyrinus, and others, quoted with a frequency 
of which we have no parallel in these times. 
I have noted forty citations from Augustine 
only. The terms in which they are spoken 
of are no less remarkable than the irequency 
of the citations. ' The great clerk and godly 
preacher ;' ' the learned and godly doctor ;' ' a 
godly father ;' ' the holy fathers and doctors ;' 
and expressions of the same kind, meet us at 
every turn. Nor is this all : they are cited as 
persons, to whose testimony, judgment, and 
decision, the very greatest deference is due : — 
' St. Augustine, a doctor of great authority and 
also antiquity, hath this opinion :' ' You see that 
the authority both of the Scripture and also of 
Augustine ;' « It is already proved, both by the 
Scriptures and by the authority of Augustine;' 



" ' To know which they be, St. Augustine teacheth 
" us ;' ' Ye have heard how earnestly both the 
" apostles, prophets, holy fathers, and doctors, 
" do exhort us ;' ' If the wholesome counsel of 
" godly fathers or the love of Christ may move 
"us;' ' Being warned by his holy Word, and by 
" the writings of old godly doctors and ecclesias- 
" tical histories;' and so throughout. The appeal 
'* for the truth of Christian doctrine is uniformly 
" made, not to the Scriptures only, but to the 
" Scriptures corroborated by the Fathers ; of which 
" I will add only one more instance, — that, namely, 
" in which we are instructed how to ascertain the 
" truth concerning the celebration of the Lord's 
" supper. ' But before all other things, this we must 
•' he sure of especially, that this supper be in such 
" wise done and ministered, as our Lord and 
•' Saviour did and commanded to be done, as his 
" holy Apostles used it, and the good fathers of the 
" primitive Church frequented it.'' 

Now after this, can any man in his senses 
suppose, that the same Convocation, the same 
Reformers, the Articles generally sanctioning the 
same Homilies, intended to rule, that no doctrine 
claimed reception which did not commend itself 
to the private judgment (whether of the local 
Church or of the individual) as agreeable to Scrip- 
ture, though it were one which the early Church 
did see in the Sacred Volume? Yet if they 
did 710^ mean this, it is necessary to do some 


violence to the spirit of this Article, and accurately 
to analyse its words, to discover what they did 

In my last pubhcation I mentioned internal 
evidence, which seemed satisfactory, as shewing 
that the Article (if I may so express myself) really 
has no spirit as it now stands : that there are plain 
marks of a few words having been afterwards 
inserted, which may be said to make its drift 
self-contradictory. For what force or meaning 
is there in this, " forasmuch as they be an assembly 
of men, &c. they may err .... even in things per- 
taining to God. Wherefore [although we do not 
deny that in points of doctrine not necessary to 
salvation they have infallible authority, e. g. ' whe- 
* ther Purgatorial pain be by fire,' or ' whether Invo- 
' cation of Saints be right,' yet] things ordained 
by them as necessary to salvation have neither 
strength nor authority," &c. And this very quali- 
fication as to doctrines ' necessary to salvation,' 
which has plainly been thus rudely thrust in, to 
the disarrangement and overthrow of the argument 
and run of the Article, is, as I said, the very same 
mentioned not only in the 6th and 20th Articles, 
but also in the Ordination Service. In all these 
cases the same restriction as to what doctrine must 
be proved by Scripture, and in all, it is important 
to add, the same silence on the question, who is to 
judge of the scripturalness of any alleged doctrine''. 

^ As regards the absence of determination in favour of private 



I feel convinced, that if any one will bring himself 
fairly to look at our Articles with his eyes open, 
and dismissing that strength of preconceived opi- 
nion which seems on this point quite to confuse the 
calm judgment of some who have written on it, he 
will see that the ground which our formularies 
have taken up against what their framers con- 
sidered Roman innovations, is, as far as Scripture 
is concerned, ' nothing is necessary to salvation 

* which cannot be shewn us' (ostendi, is the word 
in this Article) in Scripture : on necessary points, 
no writing, no rehgious body is of authority, except 
as interpreting Scripture. To those who came 
upon them with an alleged truth, and pro- 
fessed for it the sanction of a General Council, 
they would answer, * General Councils may err 

* and have erred ; do they profess to see it in 

* Scripture ? if not, it is no necessary truth.' That 
on sUch points Scripture is to be interpreted not on 

judgment, the pamphlet says, " The Article (the 20th) mentions 
** several things which the Church ought not to do. Whom then 
** did it contemplate as the judge whether the Church had done 
" these things or not ? The Church ? Then the matter will stand 
" thus; the Church must not do certain things; if she does, the 
'* appeal lies from the Church doing to the Church judging, and 
" the whole becomes a complicated absurdity." (p. 19.) How 
strange that the writer should not have perceived, that if the 
governors of the Church subscribe a declaration that the Church 
ought not to do certain things, there is a much stronger proba- 
bility than otherwise that the Church will not do them. 


private judgment but on authority^ every one, after 
what has been said, must allow to have been at the 
very least a doctrine tolerated by them ; and the 
question whether such authority reside merely in 
the general judgment of the Primitive Church, or also 
and more determinately in certain Councils, was 
altogether beside the mark, and its decision either 
way would give no additional strength to the 
ground they took up against Rome. The sixth 
Article says, ' at all events all necessary points are 
' contained in Scripture,* the twentieth Article that 
' the local Church has no authority on such points 

* except as interpreting Scripture,' the twenty-first 
(as I would maintain) ' that neither has the Uni- 
' versal Church'.' I am not determining how far 

' I mentioned also in ray last pamphlet the practical result 
of the difference between this statement and the Roman to be 
that far greater encouragement would be given to the reverent 
study of the Sacred Volume on the part of the laity, if the 
Clergy were bound not to teach necessary truth to the people 
simply on the Church's authority, but according to primitive 
usage, to point out carefully to them the passages of Scripture 
in which it is enclosed. I conceive that on such points at least no 
more is left to the private judgment in the primitive view than in 
the Roman. An ingenious writer, who however does not draw 
out the distinction as agreeing in either position, distinguishes 
them thus (I quote from memory) : ' the Roman Catholic teaches 

* the people on the Church's authority that certain doctrines are 
' true and necessary: the English Catholic teaches the people 

* on the Church's authority, 1. that certain doctrines are true 

* and necessary ; 2. that they are expressed in certain passages 
' of Scripture.' 


their position wouli really have been of much 
service to them in discussion with an acute Roman 
controversiahst ; (it has certainly never been denied 
by the Roman Church that all necessary truth is in 
Scripture ;) I am not determining whether some 
Members of the Convocation so often referred to 
may not have very well known that the Articles 
ruled nothing on these points which other Churches 
would condemn ; but it seems to me as plain as any 
fact connected with the Articles, that it ivas the 
position they took up. 

But the pamphlet says, " It is possible (right?) 
" for him who believes that some General Councils 
" are infallible to sign an Article which says that 
•' General {clearly meaning all General) Councils 
** may err ; that is, it is possible (right?) for him 
'* to subscribe one proposition and believe its 
•* logical contradictory ." (p. 13.) Again, " The 
*' Article makes these three propositions. No 
" General Council may be called together, &c. All 
*' General Councils may err. Some have erred. '^ 
(p. 20.) The Reviewer expresses himself still more 
strongly. Not to quote more than is necessary 
to shew what the force of his objection is. " Here is 
" a man, who . . . swore^ . . . that he believed that 
" General Councils, without the least hint of any 
'* exception, may err in things pertaining to God, 

'" By the way, on what occasion do clergy swear to belief in 
the Articles? but the Reviewer says," swear in the most public, 
♦' the most positive, the most sacred manner." 


" and deliberately declaring that some General 
•• Councils are infallible." (p. 285.) " Let us 
" suppose some Roman Catholic to have taken 
•' the oath of allegiance to the Queen, and to have 
" been afterwards detected in a conspiracy against 
" her throne and life .... why should he not 
" answer .... that the duty of dethroning here- 
" tics, when practicable, was a real, though un- 
" expressed, exception to his oath?" I have been a 
little surprised at the force which many people 
have seen in such statements ; for it does not seem 
an unusual form of speech : e. g. some one says to 
a Roman Catholic, " you should believe this, for 
" no less authority than the Kirk of Scotland has 
" declared it:" he answers, " Religious commu- 
" nities, consisting as they do of fallible men, 
" may err and have erred in points of doctrine.'^ 
Is that an unnatural answer? would any one 
call it inconsistent with his belief that some religi- 
ous communities are infallible, viz. those in com- 
munion with Rome ? Yet if he were obliged to 
put out in a hard and dry way the mode in which 
he reconciled the two statements, it must be in 
something like the following w'ords, " Religious 
*' communities may err as such; may err unless 
•* in any case it is promised that they shall not 
" err: the natural tendency of the fact that they 
" consist of falUble men is that they may err ; and 
" the tendency will be carried into effect except in 
" cases where a special Providence prevents it. Or- 


" dinarily, therefore, and as such, they are fallible, 
" though 1 believe there are cases where they are 
** not." And as to the exception in the present 
instance not being mentioned, to mention it would 
be to rule that some General Councils are infallible; 
we only maintain that the contrary is not ruled. 
Or to take a case still more in point, might not any 
one of us, if compelled to express difference, say from 
some one of the Tracts for the Times, and pressed 
with the consideration of their authority, from the 
character of the contributors, answer, " their 
** writers are learned and able men certainly : but 
•' the writings of the best men, since the best men 
•* are fallible, may err and sometimes have erred 
" even in things pertaining to God." And should 
it afterwards appear that the speaker considered 
that the books of Holy Scripture, though " writ- 
" ings of fallible men," still may not and have not 
erred on points of religion, what would be said 
should his adversary turn round and accuse him of 
" mental reservation," or " of destroying all confi- 
" dence in the honour and good faith of mankind?" 
Still the impression may remain on the mind 
of many that this distinction between General and 
Catholic Councils is taken up to serve a present 
emergency ; that at the time the Articles were 
written, and always before, " General Councils" 
meant simply " such as were held to be infallible :" 
that the notion of " General" being the genus, and 
*• Catholic or Infallible" the species, is intro- 


duced ingeniously for a purpose. Now although 
the case were, as the objection supposes, that 
General had always before meant Infallible Coun- 
cils, it would not follow that the Article in- 
tended to rule more than this, that no Council could 
be infallible as to essentials, except as interpret- 
ing Scripture ; leaving open the question, whether 
or not it could be so in that case ; but the fact is 
altogether otherwise. On the one hand Bellarmine 
not only gives an instance of a national Council 
being called general", but draws a distinction, 
giving a large number of instances of each, between 
' Concilia Generalia approbata,' ' Concilia Generalia 
reprobata,' and ' Concilia Generalia partim con- 
firmata partim reprobata ° ;' and though he seems 
occasionally to use ' general' in its stricter sense, 
as synonymous with what he calls, ' verum Ec- 
clesise Concilium p,' yet his ordinary use of the word 

* General Council,' in his first eight chapters, which 
are all I have read, is certainly as a genus, a par- 
ticular class of which only is infallible. On the 
other hand, with regard to the other party in 
the Roman Church, Mr. Palmer quotes among 
others the following : ' Quidam theologi opinantur 

* banc ecclesise approbationem omnem auctoritatem 

" De Conciliis et Ecclesift, lib. i. cap. 4. 

" Cap. 5. 6. et 7. ' The latter he heads only, Concilia partim 
confirmata partim reprobata,' but the first words of the chapter 
are, * Primum generate partim confirmatum, partim reprobatum.' 

'' Cap. 8. 


* Concilio Generali tribuere.' Bouvier'i, ' Temera- 

* rium est dicere quia Concilium Generate circa Jidem 

* errare non potest.' Ockham '. Are either of these 
phrases less strong than those in our Article ? And 
yet we know that their writers considered some 
General Councils infallible. To the same effect 
he quotes De Barral, Trevern, and Bossuet*. 
Thus then it seems that while members of one 
party in the Roman Church say that General 
Councils may err as such and unless confirmed 
by the Pope ; of the other party, ' unless confirmed 
by the Universal Church ;' the English Churchman 
is allowed to say, * General Councils may err 
' as such, and on necessary points may err, unless 
' they prove their decrees from Scripture.' We 
take the Article then thus, ' General Councils may 

* not be gathered, &c. and when they be gathered 
' together, forasmuch as, &c. they may err and 
' sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining 
' unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them 

* have neither strength nor authority unless [there 
' be some special mark upon them distinguishing 
' them from common General Councils ; and this 
' there will not be unless] things ordained by them 

* as necessary to salvation be shewn to be taken out 
' of Holy Scripture,' i. e. unless Scripture texts 

•J ' On the Church,' vol. ii. p. 154, 
' p. 157. 
• p. 154, 5. 


be pointed out by them as containing in their judg- 
ment the doctrines they decree. And ' for the 

* importance of this test of the Catholicity of a 
' General Council, see Newman's Prophetical Office 

* of the Church, lect. viii. where he brings out the 

* fact, that the first General Council which pro- 

* fessed to ground its decrees not on Scripture 

* sanction, but mainly on tradition, was the first 
' which framed as an Article of faith what was 

* beside and beyond the Apostles' Creed, was the 
' Council which decreed the worship of images, and 

* was the first which took place certainly after the 

* schism had taken place between the East and 
' West.' 

One misapprehension in the Reviewer on this 
subject remains to be noticed. He quotes from 
the Tract, ' such a case is beside the Articles' 

* determination;' and continues, ' Be it so, but who 
' compels you to sign the Article if you think it 

* wrong or presumptuous ?' (p. 286.) and to shew 
more clearly his strange mistake of the Author's 
meaning, he actually quotes the words in p. 294, as 
follows, ' a case which lies beyond the scope of the 
' Article, or at any rate beside its jurisdiction,* 
plainly thinking Mr. Newman to mean by ' deter- 
mination,' ' legitimate province or jurisdiction.' 
Yet the sentence in the Tract does not seem 
obscure : ' a case which lies beyond the scope of 
' this Article,' i. e. which does not come within 
the range of subjects aimed at in the Article, ' or 


* at any rate beside its determination,' i. e. or at 
any rate which it has not happened to determine. 

To bring the subject of this Article to a close, I 
cannot feel the difficulty with regard to the first 
clause so strongly as Mr. Perceval has done. He 
saysS that ' if the Bishops of the Church were 
' reduced to so few, that even a score or a dozen 
' of the inhabitants of the same country might 

* constitute a General Council in the fullest sense 
' of the words : yet, even these, if the Article is 
' to be taken as affirming a principle, must not 

* meet together to consult for the preservation of 

* the Church without the command of the prince, 

* who might be a heathen.' It seems very possible 
surely to take the Article as asserting a principle, 
and yet not thinking of extreme cases. In the 
state of things which then existed, which had 
existed more than 1000 years, which essentially 
still exists, it is wrong in principle for General 
Councils to meet ' without the commandment and 

* will of princes.' Dr. Arnold himself (see p. 25.) 
would not say that in all cases, e. g. if the king 
were a heathen, it would be wrong for them so to 
meet. But in the actual state of things, ' it is plain 
' from the principles of civil obedience and from 

* primitive practice' (founded on those principles) 
' that great bodies of men, of different countries, 
' may not meet together without the sanction of 

* their (civil) rulers.' Tract, p. 21. 

' Vindication, &c. p. 24. 


What has been said on this head sufficiently illus- 
trates the kindred Articles, the sixth and twentieth: 
it is only necessary therefore to advert to what 
has been said against the Tract on the subject of 
their interpretation. The Reviewer says with great 
simplicity, that ' the Oxford divines do hold 
* that doctrines not found in the Bible are yet 
' essential to salvation :' one can only answer, they 
do not, and challenge proof of the statement. He 
alleges the doctrine of the necessity of Apostolical 
succession in order to the existence of a real 
Church, and in order (according to God's appointed 
method) to the participation in the Body and Blood 
of Christ ; also the doctrine of the necessity of the 
latter (still according to God's appointed method, 
for no one denies there may be exceptions) ' to the 
' maintenance of Christian life and hope in the 
' individual.' p. 277. Of course he will not ex- 
pect a theological discussion on these subjects ; 
it is sufficient to say that they do believe that 
these doctrines are all to be ' found in the Bible ;' 
though they are not bound to believe that they are 
to be found there by the private Christian, except 
in proportion to his progress in holiness, and his 
patient study of Holy Scripture under the Church's 
teaching. It is much to be regretted that this 
writer is not better acquainted with the works of 
those whom he has thought right to censure so 
severely, or he must have known that this is their 
belief. On the present general subject let me refer 


him to Lectures 3, 4, and 5, of Tract 85, especially 
p. 51 ; and to Mr. Fronde's Essay on Rationalism, 
from the sixth chapter to the end. Indeed all who 
are really anxious to follow Scripture, should give 
the whole of that treatise, appealing as it does almost 
exclusively to Scripture proof, their most atten- 
tive consideration. The Reviewer says, that ' the 
' Oxford theologians may beheve if they please that 
' tradition and the Church are the divine interpreters 
' of Scripture ; still however inspired they are only 
' interpreters, and cannot be alleged as the in- 
' dependent authority for a single new doctrine, 
' without violating the express declaration of the 
' Articles.' (p. 278.) One can hardly wish a fairer 
statement of the case than this ; insert only after the 
word doctrine, the qualification invariably made in 
our Church's formularies, ' as necessary to salva- 
tion ;' and I have sincere pleasure in assuring him, 
that he will not find a single member of our 
Church differing from him ; and I believe few, 
if any, in the foreign Churches. 

On the subject of the Mass, the quotations 
brought forward from Cranmer and Ridley in the 
Edinburgh Review m.ake it to my mind a good 
deal more probable, that they really mistook the 
doctrines held by the Church on the subject. 
The Catholic doctrine of the Mass or Eucharistic 


Sacrifice (to speak only of points on which all 
Catholics agree) is, that the fruits of the One 
Sacrifice once made on the Cross are in a special 
and pecuhar sense impetrated by the Church for 
the living and dead, through the Mystical Offering 
of the Eucharist. Now, to call this formally incon- 
sistent with, or derogatory from, the doctrine of 
the Atonement, is simply unmeaning ; as much 
as to speak in that way of the necessity of faith, 
or works, or Baptism, to salvation. When 
persons consider these latter as appointed in- 
struments or means for applying to individuals 
the blessings purchased by our Lord's death, 
reasonable men, however they may differ in 
opinion, never speak of them as denying or 
tending to deny the Atonement. Of course to 
say that the thought of the Atonement is obscured 
in the minds of most men and practically put out 
of sight by a certain line of teaching, is quite 
another thing ; but in such passages as the fol- 
lowing, Cranmer and Ridley seem speaking of 
doctrine : Cranmer. * The papistical priests have 
' taken on them to he Christ's successors, and to 

• make such an oblation and sacrifice as never 

* creature made but Christ alone.' * If only the 
' death of Christ be the oblative sacrifice and price 

• wherefore our sins are pardoned^ then the act or 
' ministration of the priest cannot have the same 

* office.' (p. 280.) Ridley. ' To speak of this oblation, 
' how much it is injurious unto Christ's passion. 


* how it cannot, but with high blasphemy and 

* intolerable pride be claimed of any man,' &c. 
It is common charity to these prelates to suppose 
that they oid not rightly understand what the 
doctrine was against which they felt themselves at 
liberty to use such unbridled language. Nor is this 
misconception so unnatural as at first sight may 
appear. Not only would the popular belief of such 
miracles as those mentioned in the Tract, pp. 48, 9. 
make the multitude of men naturally prone to con- 
sider it a repetition of the One Sacrifice, but the not 
uncommon language of theologians, speaking of it 
as one and the same with the Sacrifice on Calvary, 
might tend to encourage a similar idea among 
the ruder sort, or at all events might give Protest- 
ants wrong notions of what the real doctrine was. 
The decree of Trent itself, ' Una eademque est 

* hostia, idem nunc offerens sacerdotum ministerio 

* qui seipsum tunc in cruce obtulit, sold offerendi 
' ratione diversd,' might be easily misunderstood 
but for the words immediately following, ' Cujus 

* quidem oblationis cruenies inquam, fructus per hanc 
' incruentam uberrime percipiuntur.' The Reviewer 
adds that Cranmer, * as if foreseeing Mr. Newman's 

* quibble, says, ' the Papists to excuse themselves, 
' &c.' May I be allowed to make rather a longer 
extract, which begins with the passage quoted in 
the Review. ' The Papists to excuse themselves' 
' do say, that they make no new sacrifice nor none 
' other sacrifice than Christ made And here 


* they run into the foulest and most heinous error 
' that ever was imagined. For if they make every 

* day the same oblation and sacrifice for sin that 

* Christ made, .... then followeth it of necessity, 

* that they every day slay Christ and shed His blood, 

* and so be they worse than the wicked Jews and 

* Pharisees, which slew Him and shed His blood 

* but once. Almighty God banish all such 

* darkness and error out of His Church, &c."' So 
writes the ' Father of the English Reformation :' 
whatever other feelings may rise in the mind of the 
rehgious reader on perusing the passage, this is 
plain that he altogether misunderstood the sacred 
doctrine he opposed, and was even in his own 
despite, in this instance at least, preserved from any 
direct ' fighting against God .' 

As to the Article itself, having for its title, * Of 
' the one oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross,' 
and fdr its direct matter a full and most orthodox 
statement of that fundamental doctrine, I cannot 
conceive an unprejudiced person to imagine the 
latter clause, appended by a ' wherefore,' to be 
aimed at any practice or opinion not militating in 
any way against that doctrine. After what has 
been said, most persons will perhaps be satisfied 
that the mistake as to matter of fact (what was the 
Ancient doctrine of the Mass) is the true solution ; 
but if otherwise, let them remember the amount of 
practical corruption then existing ; how that vast 

" Jenkyns's Crannier, vol. ii. p. 453. 


and majestic symbolical system which still survived 
had come in so great measure to take men's 
thoughts from God instead of leading to Him ; 
and that as in other parts so also in this, the Mass 
seems of itself to have engrossed the people's 
thoughts and affection^, instead of tixing them more 
firmly on that One Atonement, of which this un- 
bloody sacrifice was at once the commemoration 
and application. The condemnation then of this 
practical corruption would be not an unnatural 
conclusion of the first part of the Article. But 
whichever view be adopted, this or the former, 
one thing at least cannot be imagined with any 
shew of reason, that the doctrine of the Mass, as I 
just now drew it out, was even hinted at in it. 

The Reviewer is severe upon the explanation of 
the twenty-fifth Article. He says, with perfect 
truth, that '* by sacrament, Mr. Newman means 
" a rite whereby a great and peculiar spiritual 
" blessing is attached to one fixed outward form, 
" and that Mr. N. asserts for the Church the 
" power to select this form and endow it with 
*' this grace." " He reduces," the Reviewer says, 
" the difference between them (the ' five com- 
" monly called sacraments,' and the ' Sacraments 
" of the Gospel,') to the mere absence of a direct 

*' divine appointment Had our Reformers 

" been of this opinion, they could not have framed 
" the Article in its present form. They could not 


" have said that they had not ' like nature of 
" Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Sup- 
" per.' " (p. 283.) How strange that he should 
forget that the very words which immediately 
follow, the very reason which the Article gives 
lohy they have not " like nature," is, ^' for that they 
" have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of 
" God." Many persons^ perhaps, will see in this 
Article a remarkable instance of the desire of ap- 
pearing as far from Rome as possible ; the definition 
of " sacrament" seems almost changed on purpose 
to exclude the other five. 

The 13th Article is perhaps the most difficult of 
all to reconcile with Gospel Truth. I do not feel 
myself called upon at present to enter into the sub- 
ject ; comparatively little, so far as I am aware, 
having been written against the view of it maintained 
in the Tract. To discuss it fully would require con- 
siderable knowledge of the Reformation theology, 
especially Melancthon's, from whom our Articles 
are so much taken, and a careful comparison with 
the wording of the 10th, 11th, and 12th Articles, 
especially the first-named ; not to mention on the 
other hand the Service for Baptism, and other 
parts of the Prayer-book. At present I shall 
merely notice the objections raised in the two 
publications which all along I have been con- 
sidering. The pamphlet says, (p. 19) ' if (works) 

K 2 


* are before justification, they are before faith, Article 
' xi/ i. e. that the llth Article decides that justifi- 
cation follows on faith immediately. Surely that 
Article must be much strained to discover such 
a decision in its wording. The Office for " Baptism 
" of such as are of riper years," (which, however, 
was added at a later period, but the writer of 
the pamphlet disclaims any consideration of the 
" imponens,") is altogether inconsistent with 
such a notion. Those adults who come for 
Baptism come, if they are to benefit by it, in 
faiths as all must allow : yet for such persons 
the people pray, " we call upon thee for these 
" persons, that they coming to thy holy baptism 
** may receive remission of their sins by spiritual 
" regeneration :" now " remission of sins" is, we 
know, " justification," and the prayer is therefore, 
that those who have faith may be justified by 
Baptism. On the other hand, the Reviewer, 
(p. 282.) also pressing the eleventh Article vio- 
lently into his service, says, in arguing against 
Baptismal justification, " it is hard to see ... . how 
" the faith required by the Article can exist 
" in an infant •/' thus wishing to shew that our 
Church denies justification to be given before ex- 
plicit faith exists. Yet the Service for Baptism of 
infants (and this existed before the Convocation, 
and remained untouched by it) is altogether in- 
consistent with such a view. Is justification for- 
giveness and reception into God's favour? the 


people pray for the infant, " that he, coming to thy 
" holy baptism, may receive remission of sins by 
** spiritual regeneration." The congregation are 
told, " Doubt ye not, but earnestly believe that 
'* He will .... favourably receive this present 
"infant:" aftei' Baptism, God is thanked "that 
" it hath pleased Him to receive this infant for 
" His own child by adoption.^' Is Christian 
justification an infused quality of righteousness ? 
the people pray God before Baptism, " that He will 
" ivash and sanctify this child with the Holy Ghost,^' 
and after Baptism thank Him *' that it hath pleased 
" Him to regenerate this infant with His Holy 
" Spirit." Indeed the more attentively we con- 
sider the whole Baptismal Service, the more secure 
a protection we shall find it against any attempt 
at proving our Church committed to the notion, 
which it cannot be denied the prima facie view 
of some of the Articles seems to encourage, that 
explicit knowledge of Christian truths, or explicit 
faith in our Blessed Lord, is the essential difference 
between those who are and those who are not 
Christians : a view which, as it of course dispenses 
with the peculiar office of the Church, so also tends 
singularly to obscure the recognition of the influ- 
ences of the Holy Spirit, and leads to a carnal 
and rationalistic tone on all religious subjects. 
And the Articles, being the later document of the 
two, can never have been intended by those who 
enacted them, to contradict any doctrine clearly put 


forth in that prayer book, which they themselves 
retained and used. 


But after all that has been said, the difficulty is 
still far from unlikely to suggest itself to a scru- 
pulous mind, ' if there is at all events necessity 

* for such laboured and difficult explanations, if 
' there is at first sight so much plausibility in 
' the representations of those who consider this 

* whole scheme of interpretation as dishonest and 

* unfair, is it not at least the safest side to abstain 
' from subscription ? ought any regard to comfort, 
' ought even the feeUng that the ministry of the 

* Church is the situation in which I can best serve 

* God, ought this to induce me to an action whose 

* morality is even doubtful?' Now it is important 
for such persons, and also for others, carefully to 
observe, that the present is not a question between 
duty and interest, but between duty and duty. To 
acknowledge that even any particular Church 
has authoritatively come to an erroneous decision, 
would be distressing to the feelings of any of her 
attached members ; and it w^ould be one of his 
plainest duties not to admit such a position until 
there was plainly no fair escape from it ; and the 
Articles, though not terms of communion, are cer- 
tainly our Church's authoritative teaching". But 

" I mean, they are onr Church's authoritative statements of 
doctrine, not merely * authoritative teaching' in a sense which 


this is far indeed from being the whole account 
of the case ; the Articles, which are principally 
in question, concern not this or that less material 
particular, but a whole range of the most im- 
portant truths. For instance, supposing we were 
once to admit that the Protestant doctrine of 
justification had received the formal sanction of 
our Church, who can estimate the serious con- 
sequences which must follow in the judgment of 
all those (and they are not few) who consider that 
doctrine heretical and anti-Christian ? or to take 
the Articles which have been more triumphantly 
claimed against us than any other ; let us allow 
ourselves to imagine for one moment it were 
granted, that our Church had condemned the doc- 

Mr. Newman gives it in his Letter to Dr. Jelf. hi that sense 
we must humbly make the avowal, as he does in that Letter, 
that our Church's authoritative teaching has been unhappily 
corrupt, as well as the Roman Church's: but in the text 
I mean, not the * teaching of those in authority,' but * the 
teaching which our Church has authorized and enjoined :' and 
to acknowledge certain error in that would be a sad conclusion 
indeed to arrive at. At the same time, on some subjects, it 
would be far less grievous than on others. Were we persuaded, 
e. g. that the Articles rule Invocation of Saints to be in itself 
a fond thing, &c. or again, certain points of discipline in other 
Churches to be unjustifiable or inexpedient, (Articles 22,24, 30,) 
and were any one further to come to a conviction that on these 
points he was unable to acquiesce, he might give up his position 
in the Ministry or in the University, and retire into lay-com- 
munion : yet comparatively no very serious evil need result. 


trine of the Mass, as drawn out in p. 63, and of the 
infallibility of some General Councils, what must 
follow ? To suffer our minds to dwell coolly and in 
detail on so miserable and shocking an hypothesis, 
would be hardly pious to that Mother who has, as 
we thankfully believe, been saved from such a step. 
But considering the difficulties which even now 
no small number of her children find in re- 
cognizing our Lord's mark upon her as really 
a living branch of His Church, what must 
be the result, if they were left to consider 
it as an acknowledged fact, that by abandoning 
Catholic Truth on those points, she had passed a 
formal condemnation on the Sacerdotal and Pro- 
phetical Offices of the Church, as (so far at least as 
her own principles can be compromised by the con- 
duct of her governors in times past) she has in her 
own case at least betrayed the Regal ? is not then 
every tie of pious affection which binds us to her 
communion, every feeling of sympathy and rever- 
ence which links us with Andrews, or Hammond, 
or Ken, every difficulty any one of us may feel in the 
supposition that the Roman Churches make up the 
Universal Church, every emotion of gratitude to 
God for the remarkable traces of His Providence 
in our present condition, for the singular deliverances 
He has worked out for the English Church amidst 
the sins of her members, and the perils which 
have encompassed her, are not all these united in 
calling upon us with a voice not to be mistaken, 


to look well that we * curse not her whom God 
hath not cursed \ that we exhaust every means of 
defence honestly practicable hefore we give up that 
Church in which our lot has been cast as guilty of 
such miserable apostacy ? And let such persons 
further consider, whether the way in which more 
perhaps than in any other God visits for past sins^ 
whether of our own or of those whose represent- 
atives we arC;, be not painful perplexities of con- 
science, and the necessity of adopting either way 
some line of conduct, which in particular frames of 
mind will subject us to misgivings and uneasiness. 
When we are visited with such vexatious thoughts, 
let us, while in rectitude and simplicity of heart we 
look up to God, make use of them as calls to 
humiliation for the sins which have occasioned 
them : * we are mysteriously bound up with our 
' forefathers, and bear their sin.' Far from us be 
that state of mind which would look upon the 
excesses of the 16th century as themes for angry 
declamation, or contemptuous comparisons: in a 
certain and very true sense they are our own sins, 
and call on us for bitter sorrow and repentance ; 
it was in those sins that our present condition as 
a Church on the whole had its rise. Let us 
avail oui-selves of that most thoughtful and con- 
siderate hint in the Tract, which would lead all 
those, who are united in the feeling of humility and 
contrition for the mode in which the English 
Reformation was carried out, to take the 30th of 


January in each y-earP as a time for giving vent in 
union to that feehng in acts of sorrow and depreca- 
tion ; and prayers that both we and other Churches 
may have the grace of repentance in order to the 
privilege of reunion. Such use of that day, in 
addition to the thoughts more immediately con- 
nected with the event which it commemorates, 
had this especial propriety, that King Charles's 
death may not unnaturally be considered as the 
retribution on the royal office of the sins the royal 
office had committed. 

It remains to allude without methodical arrange- 
ment to one or two different objections which 
whether in print or in other ways have come to my 

1. The pamphlet (p. 16.) makes objection to the 
argument of the Tract drawn from the declaration 
prefixed to the Articles in the time of Charles the 
First. Of course this argument is not in point 
as to either of the considerations which have 
been urged in this pamphlet ; as not bearing either 
on the original intention of those who sanctioned 
the Articles, or on their wording as being the de- 
velopement of that Spirit who resides in the 
Church ; but as the object of the Tract would 

P Of course I am not deciding the question whether what are 
called ' the state holidays' have the sanction of our Church. 

75 • 

be to mention the grounds which might induce 
men of whatever opinions on minor points to 
acquiesce in its view of our Articles, it was much 
better not to omit it. It has been commented 
on in a recent ' Letter' I have once before alluded 
to as follows : ' If there be no reason to the con- 

* trary, the natural meaning of the words, as at 

* first drawn up, may be taken without hesitation 
' as the meaning . . . still our obligation so to 
' take them arises from our relation to the im- 
' posers, not the compilers. . . . Thus whatever 
' might be the meaning of the divines of King 
' Edward who compiled or of those of Queen 

* Elizabeth who revised our Articles, as to Predes- 

* tination and Election and other kindred tenets, 
' it was in the prerogative of the Church governors 

* in King Charles the First's time to declare, that 

* those Articles should not be interpreted by the 

* rules of any modern school, but by the literal and 

* grammatical signification of the words. ^ This de- 
claration has the force of a precedent in favour of 
neglecting the opinions of the framers, and even of 
the original Convocation ; so that those who may 
not think with Mr. Newman that the Articles were 
never intended to exclude certain opinions, will still 
have this point to consider, before they decide that 
they do exclude them. However the words ' no 
' new sense,' considering they were put out by 
Laud, shew very clearly that at that time, on many 
at least and those important matters, the Catholic 


interpretation was not ' new' but recognised and 

2. ' The Articles are principally drawn from 

* the writings of Melancthon,' ' the Catholic Re- 

* former.' * What inference,' asks the writer of 
the pamphlet, ' am 1 to draw from this ? .... all 

* that we can infer is that the Articles are Protest- 
' ant extracts from an author, from whose works 

* Catholic extracts might have been made and wera 

* not made.' (p. 17.) I think we can infer some- 
thing very different ; viz. that so far as the Articles 
were taken from his writings, they were known to 
be patient (to say the least) of a Catholic sense, 
since that would be the sense in which he himself wrote 
the words. On the question of justification the 
point is of extreme importance ; it is one of the 
most striking instances in which he embraced 
Protestant phraseology, yet in a sense consistent 
with the Ancient Faith. Take the much contro- 
verted eleventh Article, ' When Melancthon and his 

* school speak of faith only justifying they 

* say that it is an emblem or image of the 

^ free grace of our Redemption. To say we are 

* justified by faith only was in that reformer's 
' mouth a lively mode of speech (he calls it figu- 

* rative) for saying that we are justified neither by 
' faith nor by works only, but by God"^.' Of course 
I am not proving that these are Melancthon's sen- 
timents, it has not been denied that I know of; 

" Newman on Justification, (2(1 ed.) p. 277. 


but shewing that if they are, if it was his habit to 
adopt Protestant phrases and give them an innocent 
sense, and if the Articles are taken from his 
writings rather than those of the other reformers, 
a strong additional ground exists for supposing that 
they were not intended to exclude this innocent 

3. To revert to the ' animus imponentis,' the 
question has been raised who is the ' imponens' 
when members of the University as such subscribe 
the Articles. I conceive the legislative body of the 
University to be rightly so regarded ; at the same 
time of course that assembly would be understood 
to wish the Articles signed in the Church's sense, 
whatever that sense might be, unless otherwise speci- 
fied ; which it never has been. But on the sup- 
position of Convocation pronouncing an authori- 
tative declaration of the sense in which it requires 
subscription, it certainly appears that in that case, 
those members who could not sign the Articles in 
such sense, would be bound either to quit the 
University, or at least to issue such a public decla- 
ration of the interpretation on which they do sub- 
scribe, as to give Convocation the power of pro- 
ceeding against them if it thought right. 

4. Mr. Newman, in the Postscript to his Letter 
to Dr. Jelf, gave as one reason for the excitement 
caused by the Tract, that ' it had been written for 

* one class of persons and commented on by 

* another.' and I understand that not a few have 


looked on this as a plain confession of dishonesty : 
* habes confitentem reum.' Certainly they must 
consider it a remarkably honest confession of dis- 
honesty. Yet surely many reasons are not far to 
seek,why observations, addressed in the most upright 
spirit to one class of persons, would be misunder- 
stood and excite a clamour if read by another. 
Are persons usually suspected of dishonesty who 
are unwilling that their private letters shall be read 
by other than those to whom they are addressed ? 
when they are altogether on public topics, would 
they be generally quite pleased if they were to 
appear in print ? or would unwiUingness that they 
should so appear, be construed by any sane person 
as a proof that they were written disingenuously? 
Of course the present case is not so strong, yet 
it is altogether analogous. However, out of the 
large number of reasons which will readily suggest 
themselves to many persons, it may be as well 
to mention one or two, why the Tract may have 
been on the one hand perfectly honest, and yet on 
the other not so fit for general and indiscriminate 
perusal, as for the perusal of those for whom it was 

I. There is a quiet assumption all through of 
certain views being ' Catholic' and true, &c. and 
a certain tone adopted, difficult exactly to describe, 
but which not unnaturally appears to those of an 
opposite wa)'^ of thinking contemptuous or sar- 
castic. Again, phrases are used, as above men- 


tioned, implying that certain doctrines are the 
doctrines of the Church of England, which seem 
to have given great offence to some persons ; and 
yet are perfectly ' in order' in a publication ad- 
dressed to those who agree with the author in 

II. Again, all through the Tract considerable 
knowledge is implied in the reader of the previous 
Tracts and of other publications of their authors. 
The consequence is, that a large number of persons 
take it up quite unprepared; they find the con- 
clusions stated in a naked way, while they have 
themselves no acquaintance with the premises^ nor 
yet (which is sometimes of much more importance) 
with the practical line of thought and feeling con- 
nected in the minds of many with these doctrines. 
So that they are tempted to consider the Tract a 
wanton exercise of ingenuity, instead of, as it is, 
a most important step towards claiming for all 
members of the Church of England a full right 
to that substratum of Catholic doctrine on which 
Cathohc feeling and practice may be reared up. 

III. Many persons are very painfully affected 
when things are said in favour of the Roman 
Churches, without protests being also expressed 
against their corruptions. Now, on the other hand, 
several persons who fully believe in the existence 
of those corruptions, dislike this habit of always 
mentioning them ; and this for three reasons : first, 
it seems ungracious in a Church so faulty as our 


own to be continually] * throwing stones' at our 
neighbours, and seems almost to imply (though 
Mr. Newman no where does imply it) that we 
consider our own Church purer. 2. It tends to 
make persons forget the true character and claims 
of the Roman Church, as being a true Church 
** built upon the foundations of the Apostles and 
" Prophets," as having held up for imitation cer- 
tainly more than any other Church of modern 
times patterns of evangelical sanctity, and having 
been even in her worst times, on most points, a 
firm and consistent witness in act and word for 
orthodox doctrine, whom in that respect it rather 
becomes us to imitate than to criticise. 3. It 
tends to make persons forget, what it is so im- 
portant that they should remember, our own prac- 
tical corruptions. Surely the faults of others 
concern us not so nearly as our own ; and national 
Churches, not less than individuals, bear the surest 
mark of their own condemnation when they are 
loud in self-praise. Might not Rev. iii. 17, 18. 
afford at times a useful lesson to many of us 
English Churchmen ? These then are reasons 
which naturally indispose persons who feel their 
force, to yield very readily to the popular wish of 
never saying a word in praise of foreign Churches, 
without being profuse in explanations and qualifica- 
tions. And Mr. Newman, writing as he supposed 
for persons of the same principles with himself, 
knew on the one hand that they were well aware 


of his feelings on the corruptions in the Roman 
system, and on the other, that they shared with 
him a strong dislike to be always " harping" upon 
them. But when, by the sensation which the 
Tract caused, the author was reluctantly compelled 
(in his Letter to Dr. Jelf) to draw out again what 
he did feel about these abuses, curiously enough, 
many persons it appears considered that Letter 
a retractation. It is come to this, that to speak 
of a sister Church, without adverting to her faults, 
is to believe her faultless. Is this to be our rule in 
speaking of our " brethren after the^es^P?" 

P It is a curious proof how much of Protestant feeling still 
unconsciously remains in those who have formally renounced it, 
that the first impression, perhaps, of most of us would be to 
think it inconsistent with the position of a member of our Church, 
to think other Churches more pure and apostolical. Yet so long 
as our own is believed really to be a Church, it is plain that any 
amount of superiority we may believe other Churches to possess 
over the English, is as irrelevant to our position iw the English, as 
every one would see it to be in the parallel case of a person being 
called to task as follows, " how can you profess to be the son of 
" your own mother, because you have come to think another lady 
" more religious?" Indeed, to pursue the parallel, what sane 
person would accuse another of want of affection for his mother, 
though he gave her all his care and attention, because he should 
not be in the habit of a boastful comparison of her with all other 
mothers? Or again, which would be thought the more patriotic, 
he who should content himself with triumphantly enlarging on 
his country's excellence as it is, or who should be anxiously and 
aftectionately endeavouring to observe what points of superiority 
other countries might possess, in order, if it might be, to elevate 



IV. Another cause, and the last I shall mention, 
Mr. Newman stated himself in his Letter to the 
Bishop of Oxford. He drew up in some cases the 
premises without stating his conclusion ; and the 
result has been, that others have been pained and 
perplexed by the apparent ambiguity of the (first 
edition of the) Tract; it appeared as though he 
were trying in some indirect way to entrap his 

his own to their standard? Love to our Church surely shews itself 
in makiug her the immediate sphere and direct object of our 
tender care ; it may be only love for ourselves which would make 
us acquiesce in her present position, as honourable or even 
seemly. Is it fair indeed to our Church, is it to tend her with 
the loving reverence to which we are bound, if we do not keep 
our eye watchfully fixed on her weak points, in order to incite 
those who may have the power to the task of strengthening and 
building her up ? But those who think the spirit which has so 
actively prevailed within her for the last 300 years, to be full of 
evil, may, to say the least, have as real attachment to her as 
those who think it full of good. 

Having alluded to Mr. Newman's Letter to Dr. Jelf, it may 
be as well to point out (what is indeed obvious), that to vindicate 
his interpretation of the twenty-second Article, there is no neces- 
sity whatever of believing the existing Roman Church practically 
corrupt at all. Mr. N. does believe it to be sadly corrupt in 
practice; but it is not even necessary, when we come to think of 
it, to believe the then Roman Church to have been so; it is 
quite sufficient to see that the Homilies spoke very strongly of 
certa,in corruptions existing, and that those were plainly the 
" doctrina Romanensium" condemned. A person might believe 
the fact misrepresented to any extent, and subscribe the 
Article: what the Article means to condemn, the supposed 
subscriber does condemn, as *' a fond thing, &c." 


readers. His real reason for this he thus ex- 
presses ; ' I was unwilling to commit the view of 

* the Articles which I was taking, to any precise 
' statement of the ultimate approaches towards the 

* Roman system allowed by our own. To say how 
*- far a person may go, is almost tempting him to go 

* up to the boundary line.' (p. 18.) The pro- 
ceeding then on his part was another instance 
of what all, who have been helped by his writings in 
advancing towards the Truth, must have so fre- 
quently observed, his watchful and (if we may use 
the word) tender considerateness in all his state- 
ments for persons of whatever state of progress and 
whatever shade in opinion : his anxiety that the 
most forward may have food for their spiritual 
cravings, the most backward be neither on the one 
hand painfully perplexed and scandalized, nor on 
the other tempted to unreal and premature de- 
velopement. Speaking only of what we see and 
understand, it is very plain how much the cause 
we all love must suffer, if among us who are 
in the lower ranks, who are but receiving what 
others teach, any make a party question of 
religious truth, or allow ourselves in a hasty 
assumption of certain opinions and practices, 
which are most graceful and edifying in the 
saint, but which in us would be but, in another 
shape, profane and irreverent mockery of the most 
sacred things. But how much more serious is 
this consideration, when we reflect on the degree 


in which according to the invisible working of 
God's providence the advance of truth depends 
on the sober and consistent conduct of its advo- 
cates ! 

Thus, e. g. in proportion as we reahze the 
CathoHc doctrine of the sad stain marked on the 
soul by post-baptismal sin, and the remedial as 
well as cleansing efficacy of suffering, we shall be 
led to the thought of a purification through pain 
(whether at the moment of death, indefinitely 
prolonged as regards our own consciousness, or in 
the intermediate state, or at the Day of Judgment,) 
as a possible solution of many difficulties and 
perplexities, nay in the case of many persons as 
a necessary result of that doctrine. Again, in 
proportion as minds of a certain character realize 
the Communion of Saints, and advance in the 
spiritual life, they will be drawn to the practice 
of Invocation. In either of these cases, according 
to Mr. Newman's original design, when these 
feelings came as natural and free developements in 
their own minds of Catholic truth, then and not 
till then such persons would consult the Tract to 
find whether or no upon its shewing the practice 
or doctrine in question be condemned by our 
Church. Through the course which Mr. N. has 
now been obliged to take, the * ora pro nobis,' 
e. g. may have been brought before persons who 
would otherwise have never thought of it, and who 
may take it up from the mere affectation of 


singularity, or what may be called a restless love 
of newly seen and partially apprehended truth. Of 
so much importance was it for those he thought 
himself addressing, that a cautious reserve of 
language should be adopted, which other persons 
not understanding have put down to the score of 
some deep design. 

V. I received a strong remonstrance from a 
private quarter against my last publication, on the 
ground of its running counter to the judgment of the 
Bishop of the diocese ; and since what one person 
has said many may have felt, and since it has 
been stated in print that the Bishop has condemned 
the doctrine of the Tract, it may be as well to say 
a very few words on the subject. Nothing surely 
can be more pointedly irrespective of the doctrine of 
the Tract than the Bishop's sentence. It is * ob- 
' jectionable, and may tend to disturb the peace and 
' tranquiUity of the Church.' It might do the 
latter either from being * objectionable' in the time 
of its appearance, or in the manner in which it 
advocated its point, as being indirect, or satirical, or 
ambiguous and incomplete in its statements ; if the 
former were the reason, at all events the time is no 
longer in the choice of any one of us, and the 
controversy must proceed ; if the latter, it is even 
cooperating with his Lordship's judgment to throw 
the same positions, so far as may be, into another 
shape ; and I have anxiously endeavoured, with 
regard both to this and my former publication, that 


they may be neither indirect, satirical, nor ambi- 

In conclusion, I must express my sincere regret 
that the authors of the pubUcations, which I have 
kept so constantly in view, should have felt it 
their duty to express such strong imputations on 
the honesty, whether of the writer of the Tract, or 
its supporters. For the sake of those who may 
not have seen them, two quotations shall follow 
fully bearing out this statement. 

* If his (Mr. Newman's) object has been to 

* shew how an ingenious and subtle advocate 

* may put any meaning he pleases upon words ; 

* if he has wished to display how cleverly he 

* could play the part of a pleader, who cares 

* not what quibbles he utters, what perversions 

* of language he offers to a jury, so that he 

* but gets his client off, he must be owned to 

* have been successful : but is this mode of 

* proceeding to be made the standard of truth in 

* the gravest matters of life ? is there an English 

* gentleman who would not think it a grievous 
' calumny to have it said of him, that he kept 

* his promises by this rule ? Are all the most 

* solemn obligations in hfe to be entered into with 

* the understanding that any observance of them, 
' which the subtlety and dexterity of a special 


* pleader can adjust to the letter, shall be deemed 
' an honourable and satisfactory fulfilment ? Words 
' have no longer any fixed meaning, good faith and 
' truth are just as any man may fashion them, if 

* the • priestly glossing' of this Tract does not meet 
' with indignant reprobation.' Review, p. 287. 

' Adopt his (Mr. Newman's) interpretation, if 

* you can believe it to be the literal one, that will 
' only degrade your understanding and confuse 
' your ideas ; but shun his principles like a pesti- 

* lence, when he would induce you to dethrone 
' conscience from her tribunal, and set himself 
' strong in all the soul-destroying arts of verbal 

* subtlety and mental reservation in her place.' 
Pamphlet, p. 22, 23. 

Whether on the whole in theological contro- 
versy, such opinions, when entertained, ought to 
be expressed, is perhaps not quite clear: much 
certainly may be said on both sides. But in the 
present instance, the complaint I make is, that 
in the case of a writer, who, as all must admit, 
has an a priori claim to be believed sincere, 
whom the Reviewer appears to consider distin- 
guished by * austerities, boundless charities, and 
burning zeal,' (p. 291,) any person shall have felt 
himself at liberty to come so very decidedly to an 
opposite conclusion, except most unwillingly and 
after a careful consideration of the whole point at 
issue, as illustrated from Mr. Newman's former writ- 


ings no less than by the present^. Certainly it is very 
dull to read long works with which we agree not 
at all ; but then surely there is no necessity for 
casting these imputations ; and I am only wishing 
that before persons cast imputations, they should 
read such works. Perhaps from what has been 
said in the course of these pages, it will appear 
that both these writers are in many points under 
considerable misapprehension of the facts of the 
case ; and in the case of the Reviewer, at least, the 
list of such misapprehensions might be considerably 
augmented, but that I have confined my observa- 
tions to points immediately connected with the 
Tract. One more however I will adduce both as 
being another instance of (what I must call) the 
hasty and random manner in which he throws 
about imputations, and also as being a practical 

1 A Letter privately circulated, which I happened to see, and 
which is as unfavourable to the Tract itself as either of these 
writers, attributes the dishonest tendency which it ascribes to 
the Tract, to Mr. Newman's over-subtlety of mind, in con- 
sequence of which the distinction between legitimate analysis 
and unfair splitting of words is not so readily perceived by him 
as by others. What I am anxious to point out is, that in this 
case the author feels he has no right to attribute dishonest 
motives against such evidence of sincerity as exists in Mr. 
Newman's case. And, though one differs of course toto ccelo 
in opinion from him on the subject of No. 90, one has no ground 
of complaint whatever against the writer who puts forth such a 
view : it is a fair legitimate ground for an opponent to assume. 


matter of considerable importance. He speaks 
(p. 290.) of ' the Presbyterians, whom Mr. New- 
' man's school look upon as so vile.' In Tract 
47, Mr. Newman speaks as follows ; ' Do not 
' think of me as of one who makes theories 

* for himself in his closet, who governs himself 
' by book-maxims, and who, as being secluded 
' from the world, has no temptation to let his 

* sympathies for individuals rise against his abstract 
' positions, and can afford to be hard-hearted and 

* condemn by wholesale the multitudes in various 
' sects and parties whom he never saw. I have 

* known those among Presbyterians, whose piety, 

* resignation, cheerfulness, and affection, under 
' trying circumstances, have been such as to make 

* me say to myself on the thoughts of my own 
' higher privileges, ' Woe unto thee Chorazin, woe 
' unto thee Bethsaida ;' and so the Tract proceeds 
with observations which I heartily wish the Reviewer 
would read. In his ' Prophetical Office of the 

* Church,' he speaks of Dr. Chalmers as ' a 

* Divine of the sister Establishment, who is never 

* to be mentioned without respect and sympathy.' 
(p. 119.) In his Letter to the Bishop of Oxford, 
he says, * If the Established Church of Scotland 
' has this note (sanctity), I will hope all good 
' things of it.' (p. 45.) Is it necessary to quote 
more, or is it not obvious on how comparatively 
small an acquaintance with Mr. Newman's writings 


the Author of this Review has founded censures so 
severe ? 

No! those who hold strong opinions on the 
subject of our Church's present corruption and 
degradation, whatever pain they may inflict on 
others in making such avowal, whatever pain they 
may receive themselves from the din of praise sur- 
rounding her, in which the words ' pure and Apo- 
' stolicaP sound forth most clearly and distinctly 
on the ear, at least enjoy this great comfort more 
than others are able to enjoy, their love and sym- 
pathy for ' those who are without.' In proportion 
as we lament the state of things within, in pro- 
portion as we humbly confess that the mark of 
being Christ's Kingdom, which can never be wholly 
effaced from any portion of it, is obscured and but 
faintly traced on the English Church, in that pro- 
portion we are able to make the fuller allowance 
for those who have failed to discern it. When 
apparent sanctity exists without the Church, or 
within it among those who have lost its spirit, two 
solutions are possible for the Churchman ; that the 
sanctity is but apparent, or that the Church is far 
from what she ought to be. May we, in cases 
when such holiness shews itself not in words but 
in a steady and self-denying course of action, have 
grace always to choose the latter alternative ; may 
we consider the fruits of grace which exist so abun- 
dantly among Protestants as a rebuke to ourselves 


for having as yet so inadequately brought out the 
image of what is truly evangelical ; may we Ca- 
tholics of the English Church throw ourselves in 
a loving spirit upon the thought of unworldliness, 
purity, self-denial, from whatever quarter they are 
presented. In no other way shall we be able to 
build up our own Church into a form truly Catholic, 
(appealing, that is, to the whole nature of persons of 
all variety of taste and disposition,) strictly watching 
the truth, yet anxiously preserving charity ; and by 
which, having absorbed into herself all that are 
truly God's servants among ourselves, she may well 
hope that her influence will re- act for good on 
those sisters in other lands from whom she has 
been so long and so fatally dissevered ; and thus, 
when she has been, by a natural attraction and 
as it were spontaneously, restored to active com- 
munion with the rest of Christendom, once more, 
if God permit, the united Catholic Church will 
go forth in a spirit of steady aggression against 
the world.